CVMG National Executive Committee

Voting Members

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 President Jim Briggs
 Vice President
 Chris Ness
 Correspondence Secretary
 Betty Anne Clark
 Membership Secretary
 Dale Prisley
 Treasurer Holly Varey
 Newsletter Editor
 John Pepper
 Director Craig Cooksley
 Director Wayne Spears
 Regalia Sales
 Holly Ralph

Non-voting members

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 Past President Bill Hoar
 National Rally Chair April Spears 
 Competition Chair Neville Miller 
 Chief Judge Peter Salter 
 Website Administrator Mark Melcher

Bios and pictures below:

At the 2015 Members' Meeting, the following changes to the Executive Committee were made:

- Craig Cooksley was elected to replace Laurie Mills as Director
- Holly Varey was appointed as Treasurer, replacing Alison Green who stepped down

CVMG members can view the full set of Executive moves in the minutes on the Members' Meeting page (note,  you need to be signed in to this website to view)

President - Jim Briggs, NORAL Section


Growing up, no one I knew had motorcycles, or ever expressed an interest in them. It wasn’t until I was about 12-years of age that I got my first ride. It was on the back of a step-through Honda belonging to a friend’s older brother. From that day on, motorcycles were my focus. But why did I have such a strong reaction from a Honda 50?

Back in the spring of ’44 my dad was in the Army. Unknown to me until my teen years, he’d been issued a motorcycle. But a slip on some sand led to a tumble as his Indian went down, leaving him with a broken shoulder. Sent home to convalesce, he was in my grandfather’s store one morning when a gentleman came in & spotted the injured soldier. He insisted the recuperating officer come to his home for dinner, neglecting to mention his two daughters. That September my parents were married & one result of this union was me.

Without that Indian, my mother & father may not have met. So clearly, my debt to motorcycles & my subsequent appreciation for them was firmly established before I ever came into this world… & I’ve never met one I didn’t like!


Vice President - Chris Ness, Barrie-Huronia

Growing up on a large dairy farm, there wasn’t much time for anything else but milking cows, driving tractors and shovelling manure. That all changed following the summer of ’69 when Chris went away to University and promptly found a used 100cc Yamaha Twin-Jet. Freedom was at hand.

Since then a variety of two-wheelers have come and gone (some have stayed…) and at this point he cannot imagine life without motorcycles. Yes, riding is a big part of the passion, but he’s sure you’ll agree, it runs much deeper than that.

The first “restoration project” found him in 1980. A few years later he discovered the CVMG and the membership privileges it offers. What a fabulous fraternity of which to be a part. As a volunteer he has learned that the more you put in, the more you get out. That in itself is a wonderful thing.

The road ahead will offer peaks and valleys, twists and turns, smooth and bumpy surfaces. He looks forward to continued work with those members already in his life and those yet to be discovered along that road.

Correspondence Secretary - Betty Anne Clark, Grey-Bruce

Betty Anne became interested in motorcycles in her early teens having seen a photo of her Dad on an old Indian and then meeting a fellow with a Marusho.  In 1962, she became the proud owner of a Mobylette Moped and has been interested in vintage machines ever since, both riding them and “wrenching” them.  She retired in April of 2006 but continues to do part-time work as a consultant in the health care sector. Betty Anne has been very involved in the motorcycle community since the early eighties working on a number of groups and committees, is past chair of Ontario Roads Riders Association, and has held executive positions in a number of motorcycle clubs.  With a working garage that includes a motorcycle hoist, air compressor, parts washer and too many tools to mention she is the envy of her neighbours and a few CVMG members as well.   She was introduced to the CVMG by an avid member and since joining has been active with the Paris Rally, volunteered to take on the role of Membership Secretary and tackle the challenge of our new on-line membership database and most recently volunteered to be Corresponding Secretary.

Membership Secretary - Dale Prisley, Essex Kent

I was born, raised and have spent my life in the Essex County area of Ontario. I like to say Essex county is the "antithesis of the Tail of the Dragon as we have 322 miles with 11 turns. I started motorcycling in the 70's with an S2 Kawi and then moved to a GT550, GS750, KZ 750 and then got married. Jan and I were bikeless for a period of time when the only riding I did was demo days anywhere and everywhere. At the turn of the century we decided it was time to get a bike again and the BMW R1150RT was what we chose. This morphed to the K1200GT. During these days I also took up road racing with the VRRA. I raced an H1 and a GPZ 550 for 2 years. Following this time I entered a dark phase when I rode a Harley Road King. After the Road King I went vintage and rejoined the CVMG in 2011. I am currently the president of the Essex/Kent section and a member of the Paris Rally committee. I enjoy the motorcycling community and I am always impressed with the extensive knowledge within our group. I am looking forward to serving you as the membership secretary.

Treasurer - Holly Varey

In the mid 1960s my grandparents started up a motorcycle shop in Brantford, Ontario. They imported and serviced Yamahas and Velocettes into the '70s. For those who frequented, West Street Cycle was a magical place of camaraderie and community. It led to life-long friends, partnerships, and passions. My parents met through the shop and today our family continues to enjoy a healthy addiction to motorcycles; my father collecting mainly Velocettes and me beginning a collection of Yamahas.

Being born into a family of motorcyclists means I've ridden since I was stable enough to sit on the seat without toppling off. Track days, trials events, and tooling around the farm on the outskirts of Brantford, I was hooked on the vibration and exhilaration. It was only a matter of time before I got on the road, and of course, on a vintage bike. As an artist by profession the lines and aesthetics of the vintage machine - especially late 60s to early 70s Yamahas - produce a particular thrill for me. It's also a fantastic feeling to cherish and ride the bikes my grandparents sold and serviced over 40 years ago. Things have come full circle, I suppose!

One of the best aspects of my passion for bikes is that it brings me new opportunities and connections all the time. With a handful of early 1970s Yamahas in my fleet there's plenty of attention garnered taking them out for a spin, and it's fun to reminisce with folks who used to ride and own these bikes back in the day. Being part of the CVMG surrounds me with a supportive group of enthusiasts that are an inspiration for my hobby. I'm proud and empowered to be learning and discovering how to ride and work on old R5s and XS650s... I'm not just learning how the bikes function, but the inner workings of what makes me tick, too.

Newsletter Editor - John Pepper, Old Fort York Section

 John was born in Ireland and learned the fine art of off-roading on a stripped-down Norman-Villiers given to him by his father at age 12. By the time John was fifteen (pre-licence) he was getting up before dawn to ride his first road bike (a 1966 Honda Benly 154) before the local police sergeant would be likely to be awake! John now lives in Toronto and rides a 1956 Norton ES2 and a 2005 Ducati ST3. John's last big ride was to Utah and Arizona with his wife Angela. Before that he rode from Toronto to Newfoundland on his Norton. Check out John's website at Prior to taking on the editorship John has contributed a number of travel and other motorcycling articles to the CVMG News. 

 Director - Craig 'Bentley' Cooksley, Central Alberta Section

I was a late starter being 23 when I got my first motorcycle [parents thought they were death machines] '46 Knuckle.  Like me it changed through the years.  Me being a long hair hippy biker;  it being a chopper with 18in. over springer  & molded in peanut tank.  As I went though a few years of married life it lived in storage.  Then, as I re-entered  the single life and more of a weekend independent rider, the Knuckle became a bobber with bobbed rear fender & stock chrome springer with 21in. front wheel   In 1986 I started Bentley's in Red Deer - a paint & body shop.  The Knuckle changed to a stock looking '46 with candy purple paint & stock bags.  In the 1990's Bentley's downsized and moved to the farm doing mainly restorations & street rods and bikes.  In '92 we did the Alaska Highway proving too much for the Knuckle.  It then got merched.  And, like the bike, in 1999 I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Bentley's changed to "only motorcycles".  Last year they cured the Hep C.  The Knuckle is now in the living room  de-merched to were I can start it.  Along the way I've added about 100 motosicles to my barn & I'm hoping to expand the museum this winter.

Director - Wayne Spears, Kitchener Section

Wayne is an active member of his section and a long time supporter of all things related to the CVMG.  He has served as Director before and was instrumental in helping to make our organization a truly National one.

Wayne loves to take his Triumph Tiger to shows and events and spends a great deal of time letting "little" folks sit on the bike.  This brings many smiles and also helps to encourage both young and old to support our CVMG aims and objectives.

Wayne can be found at many events handing out information about our Paris national Rally and also encouraging folks to join the CVMG.

Regalia Sales - Holly Ralph, Olde Norfolk Section

My first bike was a Norton Atlas, bought directly from Harry Firth--not that I'm old!  There have been many bikes since, including several Bridgestones and a BMW with an R69S frame and 75/5 engine. 

My sons had the good grace to settle in Vancouver and Denver, thus giving me an excuse to ride to see the grandchildren each summer.  The past few years, I have also been honoured to represent Canada at the FIM rallies in Europe.

Paris National Rally Chair - April Spears, Kitchener Section

When I was fourteen I read an article in Teen Magazine – everything you needed to know about getting into a sports car gracefully while wearing a miniskirt”.  I practiced this “skill” until I was confident that when I met my boyfriend I would have no issues with the skirt /sports car.  Unfortunately, there were two things I never considered:

  • My mother was not going to let me wear a miniskirt, and
  • My future husband rode up on a Yamaha 650 Maxim.

Here we are years later and since then I've traded the miniskirt for chaps.  Still no sports car but I do own a 1985 Yamaha Virago and sometimes it’s not that graceful.

I have been a committee member for many years and have been fortunate enough to work with many great people.  As the Paris Rally Chairperson, I look forward to another wonderful year and am especially looking forward to meeting friends - both old and new!

Competition Chair - Neville Miller, Ottawa

From the age of 11, after my first ride on the pillion of my brother’s ex-army G3L Matchless, I’ve been hooked on motorcycles.  I began riding legally as soon as I turned 16 on a BSA Bantam.  After I passed my driving test, I bought a Velocette MAC, on which I rode about 100,000 miles in various guises during the 1970s in England.  My competition career started with a season of sidecar racing in 1975 on an uncompetitive Triumph outfit.  I was the one ‘in the chair’.  In 1978 I took up vintage racing with the VMCC and had a lot of fun over the next five years at the various circuits around England on a 1938 Velocette MSS.  Soon after arriving in Canada in October 1982, I discovered the fledgling CVMG and started attending the monthly meetings of the Ottawa section.  I am also an active member of the sister organization, the VRRA (Vintage Road Racing Association).  I’ve even had a go at trials riding at some of the Eastern Ontario events.  In recent years I have bought three ‘cammy’ Velos, the earliest of which I have rebuilt as a replica of the bike Alec Bennett rode to win the 1928 Junior TT in the Isle of Man.


Chief Judge - Peter Salter, Grand River

My introduction to motorcycles was in 1946 when having just turned five years of age, I was one of the neighborhood kids who were given rides every nice summer afternoon, generally sitting on the gas tank, of a Harley 45 side valve my father had borrowed from his oldest nephew and which served as Dad’s transport from home to work and back.  My first rides as a pillion passenger and as an actual operator came in 1957 courtesy of a high school friend and long time CVMG member, Derek Browne and the Triumph 500 twin he owned at the time.  On June 1st of that year, five days before my 16th birthday, I became the owner of my first bike, a rather pathetic Harley 165, but, as five of my high school motorcycle riding friends owned Vincents, I graduated from the Harley to a Series C Rapide two years later.  Marriage in 1965 resulted in, amongst other things, a 24 year hiatus in motorcycle ownership but I never lost the urge, and in 1989 I noticed a small ad for something called the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group Annual Rally being held in Welland.  I attended and came away, courtesy of CVMG member John Alton, with a “Poor Man’s Rocket Gold Star”, a bitsa BSA Super Rocket done up to resemble a Rocket Gold Star.  I immediately joined the CVMG and when I retired several years later took on the position of Newsletter Editor.  This led to other Executive positions culminating in three years as President, 2007-2009.  After a few years away from the Executive, I decided to stick my toe back in the water again at the AGM held in 2015 volunteering to serve as the Chief Judge.  Unlike many CVMG members, I tend to hang onto bikes and prefer what I think of as quality over quantity (makes them easier to maintain) and, as a result, my current stable consists of a 1961 BSA Gold Star purchased in 1994, a 1977 BMW R75/7 purchased in 2007, and an early Vincent Series C Rapide (Don’t we all want the bike we had as a kid?) purchased in 2009.   The enjoyment I have gotten from the CVMG over almost 30 years has meant far more to me than any contribution I have been able to make to the Group.

Website Administrator - Mark Melcher, Great Pine Ridge

It all started in 1973 - one day I decided I wanted a motorcycle, so my neighbour taught me to ride on an H1 Kawasaki.  I was pretty sure motorcycles weren't supposed to be that scary.  Just to make sure I've owned a number of them - Kawasaki, BMW, Norton, Suzuki and Yamaha.

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