Saturday, 29 September 2012

Police Remembrance Day service

Yesterday was Police Remembrance Day here. There was a special service held at St Mary's cathedral to remember and honour all those police officers who died in the course of their duties. Some just died, some died as a result of injuries received while doing their job.

My choir, the Darwin Chorale was asked to sing for the service. We have done this before. Last year I was there singing and thought the service was interesting and uplifting. This year it was very sombre. By the end I could not even squeak out a note. Partly it seemed very dark because of the navy uniforms.

Officers, auxiliaries and recruits were present as well as the Junior Police Rangers. A Police Auxiliary is not a full constable but can perform many tasks associated with the Police role. Yes, they may arrest someone. Yes, they investigate. But there are some differences. Because we group police fire and emergency services together here there were some fire service officers present as well. They were a very similar uniform, but a different hat.

At the beginning there was a procession through the city streets and officers of the Australian Federal Police and the Northern Territory Police marched. The beat was kept by a drum, like a funeral.

Then everyone came into the cathedral. There were many important guests, including representatives of the various military services and political parties. The cathedral was full.
Afterwards, when only the flowers were left.

A colour party brought in the flags.

There were many addresses, including passages from the Bible, poems, and a couple of speeches. We sang.

Single red roses were laid, one for each for fallen comrade from the last year. Lists of names were read out. It was horrible actually. People had been attacked during their work, and ended up dead. How is that right?

Wreathes were laid from the various organisations associated with the Police. At least that was a little more cheerful.

After the ceremony a morning tea was provided in pavilions in the garden.

Dignitaries, officers, and the crowd after the ceremony.
You can read a little more about the Northern Territory Police Force here on this website. http://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Police.aspx
Police here are usually rather good people. Kind. Highly skilled. Active and strong. Well-intentioned. They visit schools and run activities for young people. They use discretion in how they apply their skills. I have never had a problem with NT Police . Of course every now and again things go wrong. It is a very stressful lifestyle. Always recruiting.


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