Some things are cast in stone and will always be part of biking - like that little word respect. In order to get respect you earn it by showing/giving respect where it's due and doing things the right way. Of course, this is not just a biking protocol, but one that applies to all humanity. However, in the serious biking community this protocol is implicitly applied - and this has been so since the earliest days of motorcycle clubs. We as a club stand by it and apply it to the bone.
We do not have a National President, but we do have a National Committee. Each of our chapters is run by it's own democratically elected President and other administrators. We are united by a set of common national rules called a constitution. The President and Vice President of each chapter form the basis of the National Committee, which attends to matters affecting us all. This committee has two fixed meetings per year, but there could be more if a situation warrants it.
Traditionally, once per year we have a closed national event called the Easter Bash
which, as the name implies, is over the Easter weekend. All chapters and members are expected to attend. Chapters take turns hosting the Easter Bash. The hosting chapter determines the venue and makes
all appropriate arrangements.
The event usually spans the whole Easter weekend. This gives members the freedom to get there and back without having to apply for leave from their employers. When the club gets together like this it makes one extremely proud to belong to this family. Rather than making excuses not to be there, the members look for excuses not to miss it. It's always a party of note. From the minute you swing a leg over on leaving, to the minute you climb off back at home, its Syndicate prime time.
SFFS (meaning Syndicate Forever, Forever Syndicate).
During the rest of the year the chapters are free to arrange their own activities. It often happens that the chapters visit each other. This could simply be for a ride and a party, or to support the another chapter's fund raising event. Apart from the customary back patch and rockers, each chapter has a unique chapter patch which is worn on the breast of a cut. We have the tradition that when a member officially visits another chapter (an inter chapter visit is a good example), then the President of the hosting chapter presents his chapter's patch to the visiting members who do not already own it. In this way we can immediately distinguish the newer members from the older members because the older members have more chapter patches on their cuts. Because of this, not many of our members have place for metal badges.
We do allow female members. These days females are riding bikes just like the males, so we need to accommodate them like males. On the other hand, many females prefer to ride pillion with their husbands and are not interested in becoming riders, so we need to accommodate them too. Nobody walks into The Syndicate MC without doing time. We still follow the hangaround and prospect protocols to the letter. Quality above quantity is very important. When you accept an invitation to become a prospect in our club you are presented with half colours and are fondly called an "appie". You get to do things like making the fire, braaing the meat, pitching the tents, fetching drinks and so on. You are never victimized or treated with disrespect in any way. By happily doing the things they ask of you, you are showing the patched members you really want to be part of them. The "appie" time continues until you receive a 100% positive vote from all the local chapter patched members, but it will never be less than three months. Rather, expect it to be longer.
The Code reads: You are a biker and this is life, it don't last long, the sun comes up and the sun goes down then you are gone, so go out there and take big bites of it. You've got no time to lose and bikers don't stand around waiting for the party to come to them. You only go around once. Tomorrow you could be road kill. So ride hard and ride long. One day when you are lying in your old age bed you won't regret the life you lived.