We are deeply saddened and regret to announce the death of our dear friend, Bill Warrander. Bill passed on 10th August after battling ill health for some time. Eamonn and Liz Toner have kindly written an appreciation for Bill, which members can read here.
It’s with tremendous sadness that we reflect on the passing of our dearest friend, Bill Warrander. Bill has been a beacon of friendship with a long association with the Goldwing Owners Club of Ireland going back to Greystones in 2001. He and his friends from Scotia Wings have been welcome guests at every Irish Treffen since.
Bill was a proper gentleman, a man of great character and accomplishment in the music business. He was a proud Scotsman and together with his Scotia Wings friends wore his Highland kilt and regalia with pride and distinction at every opportunity.
Bill rode a 1500 Goldwing trike in recent years. He was a biker through and through and the ‘Wing’ was his trusted steed. In Bill’s case, you would never be confused as to the nationality of the oncoming bike in the Parade of Nations: you would hear the skirl of the bagpipes as his Goldwing approached. Bill could be instantly identified by that broad smile that was his ‘signature’. When not on the bike, his motorbike helmet was replaced with the stylish Stetson, to complete the image of the dapper cowboy in western style – an image that Bill wore very comfortably.
Bill showed a kinship to his Irish hosts ever since those early days in Greystones. The number of friends he made are too numerous to mention, so, to avoid ‘leaving anyone out’, I wont mention anyone in particular. You all know that, if you were in Bill’s company once, then you were his friend and that bond of friendship continued forever. He delighted in coming to Ireland to meet his friends in GWOCI and GWOCNI. He would journey the highways and byways of Ireland socialising with professional musicians such as Foster & Allen, sharing stories and having a wee dram of malt whiskey to complement the yarns and fables. His stature and character were renowned in the 4 corners of Ireland and those who met him expressed their genuine warmth of affection for such a charming man.
At Treffens, Bill was reputed to be first to the bar and the last person to leave when the function was finished. His stamina on the dance floor was unsurpassed having the ability to dance the night away.
He has travelled widely in Europe to attend GWEF Treffens and was well known on the European circuit. He once took his own bike to the USA just to ride it down the Las Vegas strip - what an endeavour!
For those of us who mourn his passing, it’s a very sad time. A light has been extinguished both in Ireland and Scotland. His memory will live long amongst the community who knew him best – family, friends and Goldwing owners. We hope to have the opportunity (someday soon) to celebrate Bill’s life properly and to honour the legend that was William Alexander Warrander.
May he rest in peace.
Below is an acknowledgement from Bill's son, Derek Warrander.
If there was anywhere in this world that dad felt at home, it was for 1 week a year on his Irish adventures. The highlight of his year was always the Irish Treffen and I think we can see that as he managed an amazing 19 consecutive Treffens. I think you can see how much GWOCI meant to him as he chose this club to be his home club. He met so many wonderful people at the Treffen that he was proud to call real friends. I have been lucky enough to join him on a few of them and it pleased me no end to see the joy in his face from the minute he arrived, from a cuddle from Marian, Edel and Catherine, Liz and Nora (and some men I won’t mention Eamonn, Sam, Dermot), to always having a cup of tea for anyone passing his tent, the light runs, fantastic and runs and I one or two drams. Everyone knows him as the one with the cowboy hat, the one that’s always smiling, the sleek dancer, the last man standing and I thank the Irish members for looking after my dad on his travels. You all were a huge part of his life.