PHOTOS: Bradley McPherson still makes his mark, eight years later

Memorial car show spins its tires for murdered man in support of local scholarship

An annual memorial for murder victim Bradley McPherson – in the form of a revved up car show – returned on Saturday for the seventh year at its new location, the Twilight Drive-In.

Sue Simning, mother of McPherson, along with one of her closest friends Kim Loof, organized the show ’n’ shine – which incorporated family activities, a silent auction, and live music to fundraise for a scholarship given to a high school student who struggles with attention-deficit disorder, like McPherson did.

This year the car show raised $11,369 for the cause.

“We do this so we can keep the memory of Bradley alive, and his (truck) Emma,” Simning said, tearful over the microphone.

Emma, a black 1980 GMC Short Box that belonged to McPherson, was parked front and centre at the event.

The mother revved the truck, whirling dust and debris as the tires spun. A procession of others followed in suit in honour of McPherson – in their hotrods, muscle cars, customs, vintage classics, and motorcycles.

Many in attendance were brought to tears by the roaring tribute.

Some sported limited edition shirts, detailing the name of the Burnouts In The Sky event on the front, and the words “Like rubber to asphalt, you left your mark” on the back.

McPherson was murdered on Christmas Eve in 2011, at age 28, after standing up for a woman being harassed by a male guest at a house party in Newton.

He left behind his mother and two sisters – Mariah and Jenny. It took six years for the family to see his killer, Russell Bidesi, behind bars.

His now 23-year-old sister Mariah, who was 15 at the time of McPherson’s murder, wished that her brother – who “wore his heart on his sleeve” – could have been there for her wedding this year.

“But all of his friends were there” and rallied around her on the big day.

The McPherson-Simning family was surprised when half-way through the event a man from Cloverdale, named Rick Spigulis, handed the deed of McPherson’s long-lost Camaro back to the family.

“Twenty-six years ago Brad McPherson bought his first car. It was a 1978 Camaro that he never did anything with. Always had the plans to restore it,” Simning explained.

After selling it years ago, “this man right here has that car and he’s donating it back to the family today,” Siminig said, interrupted by cheering that was followed by tears and embraces.

The mother walked hand-in-hand with Spigulis to introduce the Good Samaritan and tell his good news to other family members in the drive-in lot.

McPherson’s uncle, Ren Lafleur, knew Bradley since he was a newborn.

“If you knew him, you couldn’t help but love him,” Lafleur said.

Nine of McPherson’s buddies came from all around the Lower Mainland to the seventh memorial car show, one admitting he “wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Jason Binder, one of McPherson’s close friends roared into the show on a motorcycle.

“His laugh was infectious,” Binder described.

“When we were kids it was him doing up his BMX, polishing the chrome. It started from that,” and led to restoring cool vehicles like Emma.

Another friend who came out said McPherson was the life of the party.

“Even if he didn’t know you he’d come up and introduce himself,” he said, noting that McPherson was known to help anyone – friend or stranger.

Twenty-four-year-old Calvin Bowie, a cousin of McPherson, tagged his uncle’s name as part of a live art installation he completes every year on four pieces of 4×8 plywood.

It took the young artist a little more than three hours to complete the work, which once finished spelled out “Brad.”

Interested in new or used vehicles? Visit TodaysDrive.com today!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

McPherson’s cousin Calvin Bowie, tagged a live art installation in the back corner of the lot on four pieces of 4x8 plywood. (Kim Loof photo)

McPherson’s cousin Calvin Bowie, tagged a live art installation in the back corner of the lot on four pieces of 4x8 plywood. (Kim Loof photo)

When Bradley was young he revamped up his BMX, polishing the chrome. It started from that, and led to restoring cool vehicles like Emma. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

His now 23-year-old sister Maria (left), who was 15 at the time of McPherson’s murder, wished that her brother could have been there for her wedding this year. (Kim Loof photo)

McPherson’s buddies came from across the Lower Mainland to the memorial car show, and hung out near his 1980 GMC Short Box named Emma. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Just Posted

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Langley man charged with sex assault in alleged fake-Uber scheme

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Bowen Byram played three seasons with the Vancouver Giants and will take part in the National Junior Team Selection Camp. (Rob Wilton)
Langley-based Giants player picked for national junior camp

Bowen Byram made quite a name for himself in three seasons with the Vancouver Giants

Aldor Acres is open to the public for pumpkin picking and animal visiting. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Our View: Caution requires creativity this Halloween in Langley

And remember, no big parties, or you’ll get a trick in the form of a fine!

R.E. Mountain Secondary (Langley School District)
COVID-19 exposure issued for R.E. Mountain Secondary in Langley

Four schools have been removed from the list of exposures

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Education is key to creating an equal world

Aldergrove reader ‘resentful’ of response by Christian Heritage Party candidate

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Most Read