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A large number of our members attended our recent meeting. Chairman Bruce Gibson opened the meeting with the sad news that one of our members, Steve Butler, whilst travelling in the USA with his family had suffered a cardiac arrest. He was transported to hospital for urgent treatment however, despite efforts by medical staff he passed away suddenly on 17 October. We also pass on our condolences to other members who have left us recently - John “Jock” Douglas and Frank Schmidt from Ettalong Beach.

Also, on welfare, Wilma Walsh is recovering after a heart attack following her recent knee replacement operation, Margaret Punch is now back at home after hospitalisation and is taking calls, and Merv Beck hasn’t been well for some time.

Our OBE list is ever growing and we now have the following octogenarians attached to our branch: Frank Reid Mills, John Corkery, Mervyn Beck, Byron E J Smith, Col Joyce, Keith Rhodes, Ted Aitken Russ Jackson, Ray Carpenter, Bernie Walsh, Norm Cowell, William Broderick, Leo Lowe, Bruce Doust, Kevin Turner, Edward (Mick) Arnold, Adrian F Lewis, John Green, Bill Benden, John Marheine, Brian Costigan, Les Norris, Tom Hawthorn, Pat Toohey, Wally Maher, Hugh Sweeney, Ian Robertson, Ernie Carmichael, Noel Murphy and Don Harding.

And now for the ladies, A. Staunton, G Wicks, M Hauser, Pauline Braithwaite, Kitty Dowse, Maureen Groch, Betty Jordan, Marion Blanch Wright, Anne Leabeater and Bernadette Sweeney.

Note from Ernie Carmichael

The following note was received from Ernie Carmichael in mid September. It may strike a wistful chord with some members, invoking memories of a bygone policing era.

“This morning I made a phone call to Frank Reid Mills, the elder statesman of our Central Coast branch of the RPA, now a resident at the Bowral House Nursing Home, at Bowral, in the Southern Highlands. Today, 15 September 2016, is the 80th anniversary of the day Frank became Police Cadet No.123. Frank joined the cadets on 15 September 1936 – when I was 10 days old. I followed him 15 years later, in April 1952.

In the nursing home I caught up with Frank in the morning, when he was having a massage; I guess one of the more pleasant experiences of nursing home life. He was in good spirits and told me he is well, although still a little troubled by the end effects of the cold which seriously affected him some weeks ago. We talked and joked about some of our experiences of days long gone – and shared our thanks to God that we are both still here.

Those ex-cadets - who are old enough to remember- will have fond memories of Cadet No. 27, Edwin Jack Hyslop, who joined the Cadets on 19 October 1933 and James Travers Lees, who became Cadet No. 126 on 15 December 1936, 3 months after Frank joined. Those gentlemen, now long gone, were respectively Senior Shorthand Instructor and Law Lecturer for cadets at the time I joined. I had a close work association with both men and had the highest respect for both. I have always been grateful for the support and guidance they gave me during my short, but very filled in, Police career. I feel many ex- adets will share my regret that the Police Cadet system was terminated. It did give young men a great insight into the workings of the Police Department before they were old enough to perform work in the public sphere.”

Ed’s comment: The phone call to Frank was made on the day Ernie was 80 years and 10 days old. All the best for Christmas and the New Year

Carl Ripphausen


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