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Hi All, well I have to say that since our last gazette, the Murray River RPA has been very busy with events and opportunities for all of our members to spend some quality and fun times together. On 2nd March, 2018, before we met for a coffee and chat we had Nick Fahy bring his HWP vehicle down to Noreuil Park to show us all of the latest techno devices that a modern day HWP officer has at their disposal. There were a number of former HWP officers who were shaking their heads at the amazing advances since their day behind the wheel. We all adjourned to BBB Cafe to bask in the afterglow.

As we have had a large number of our members who live in Victoria join our branch recently, we have started to venture further afield to hold our social gatherings. On 13th April, we toured off to the beautiful county town of Bright about 1.5 hours south of the border. Bright is renowned for its magnificent autumn display of all the colours of nature and conduct a large festival yearly. Our resident host member Annie Smart organised a lovely luncheon on the Riverdeck Cafe overlooking the Ovens River. As well as our members we had two retired Victorian Police officers come to lunch with us and they look forward to joining as associate members. After lunch we adjourned to Annieís home for a cuppa and we were all flabbergasted by the wonderful views she had across the valley and township of Bright. The colours were not only amazing in relation to the view, in addition our Annie is an extraordinary artist and we all gazed in awe at her beautiful artworks displayed around her house and in her artist den.

The serving police officers from Albury Police Station and the attached Sectors have participated each year on ANZAC Day March for a number of years now, with the Murray River RPA also being invited to march with the serving officers for the last couple of years. This year we five former members marched led by Protocol Officer Senior Constable Les Crofts it was a proud moment of all who participated.

Yeeha itís time for the Big Deni RPA Muster!!! That was the call from the blue singlet cowboys and cowgirls that headed off to Deniliquin on 27,28, & 29 April. We had a total of 17 members & family attend over the weekend. They drove their utes from far and wide, with Peter Issanchon coming from Mildura, Don Magick from Cohuna, & Gus Williams down from Wagga, with the rest of the posse coming from Albury & surrounds. We met our hosts Kay and Roger Smith at Blighty and visited the historic Tuppal Woolshed which in its heyday saw 400,000 sheep shorn at this location per year from the 700,000 acre property.

Then into Deni for a lovely dinner together that evening. We were up bright and early and Roger and Kay toured us around Deniliquin Township, with a highlight being the colonial colossus Deniliquin Court House, just an amazing piece of architecture and later out to the site where the Deni Ute Muster is held each year, this year clocking up 20 years of blue singlets, utes and great entertainment.

The next part of our tour was back to the brand new Deniliquin Police Station where Inspector Jy Brown took us on a tour of this salubrious building. We met the Deni Police eagle mascot on our way through to the main conference room which has been named in honour of our host Chief Inspector Roger Smith APM (Retíd) who completed 2 x 4 years appointment to Deniliquin and who later returned to the town where he and his wife are volunteers involved significantly in the community. After the tour a lovely lunch at the restored Superintendentís Residence, which is now a local museum.

Dinner again that night and in the morning we set off for a tour and visit to Mathoura and onto the little hidden gem of Picnic Point at The Narrows on the mighty Murray River where as the name indicates, the Murray is at its least width. We had a lovely luncheon at the Timber Cutterís Cafe on the deck where we watched the Murray meander past. It was time to say farewell to Roger and Kay whom we can only commend as doing an outstanding effort to ensure that we had an absolutely excellent weekend. A practice run for Friendship week down this way?

The Riverina Branch has been invited the Murray River group to a couple of events. On 17th April, 2018, some of us travelled to Wagga Police Station to see Detective Chief Inspector Russell Oxford present on the investigation of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara. An amazing presentation that I know many other branches have seen. After that a lovely lunch there where we met many of the Riverina RPA Branch members. This flowed onto a luncheon on 15th May, 2018, the Riverina Branchís usual luncheon date where we all travelled from both directions to Culcairn for a luncheon. Another fun and successful day with over 20 people attending.

Another invitation from Superintendent Evan Quarmby to the Albury Mess Dinner on 25th May, 2018 saw Peter Beacroft attending the function where he was asked to toast the Murray River RPA and all retired police; he looked splendid on the evening next to Assistant Commissioner Peter Barry and Superintendent Quarmby.

Our final event for May was our presentation of our Veteran certificates on 29.5.18 to Bill Morley OBE and Warren Mitchell OBE. Both Bill and Warren are wonderful members who are very proud of their long service in the NSW Police Force, and now their Veteran status in the RPA. It was a lovely afternoon with over 20 friends and family attending as well as the local TV stations Channel 7 & 9 who did a lovely job of recording the momentous occasion.

Until next time, enjoy life to the fullest like we do at Murray River RPA. Anytime you are in the area please contact us to see what is going on, there is bound to be something on the agenda.

Beth Docksey

(formerly Beth Stirton)




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