Milperra is another one of those suburbs perhaps best described as not on the tourist route. It’s a backroom, a place where people sleep and work and go about their daily business but do not have time to dress up their daily surrounds for the benefit of visitors. Its perhaps too young to have much local history or older buildings. Its the sort of place you’ll visit to go to college, get an exhaust/muffler or tyres fitted or pass through on the way to somewhere else. I do not mean to be ungenerous in my comments as such places have an essential role to fill and its as well they are there to provide housing and the essential services on offer.
Milperra is an Aboriginal word for a gathering of people and it is one such gathering that Milperra is perhaps most famous for. On fathers day, 2 September 1984, people started to gather at a “British motorcycle swap meet” at the Viking Tavern at 10am. By 1pm things started to turn sour when two groups of motor cycle gangs turned up. A heavily armed group of Comancheros entered and shortly after, members of the rival Bandidos gang arrived with a back-up van carrying weapons. The two gangs proceeded to line up at opposite ends of the car park before a signal from the Comancheros founder was given.
Within minutes four Comancheros, two Bandidos and a 14 year old bystander lay dead. A further 28 people were wounded with 20 requiring hospitalisation. Over 200 police attended the incident and were unable to take control for ten minutes.
Following the incident, in one of the largest court cases in Australia, forty-three people were charged with seven counts of murder. Seven members of the Comancheros gang received life sentences and 16 Bandidos served 14 years for manslaughter.The Viking Tavern has since been renovated, rebuilt and relaunched, and landscaped, as The Mill.
It’s hard really to comment further after such an atrocity, so I’ll just finish on a lighter note by saying that Olympic swimmer, Ian Thorpe was born in Milperra.