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At our March meeting we had a large number of our members in attendance. Visitors - Kent Vild, Angus McDonald (Sydney Branch) Bob Gray, John Mcgregor (Hunter Region Branch)

Our Guest Speaker lnspector Peter Forbutt, Weapons Training Unit whose role is Manager of Weapons Tactics & Operations Review. Peter joined the Police in 1982, performed GD's No. 9 Division, Campbelltown, Tactical Response Group, State Protection Group. Part of his duties encompasses the Design of Training for members of the NSW Police in today’s environment. At the moment there are 470 Training instructors throughout NSW and it is Peters Task to train the lnstructors in up-to-date methods especially in combating Active Armed Offenders. This follows a number of such incidents in the United States where armed offenders randomly targeted innocent people and were not going to surrender themselves to the first responders.

The Training Unit now have available premises in the Metropolitan Area, Hunter Region, Southern Region and Northern Region for the purposes of training NSW Police as first responders to these dangerous situations. Paul Wynne & Inspector Peter Forbutt.

Gary Raymond our Welfare Officer, reported that Ron King, who has dementia, often forgets things as his disease progresses, but he responds to the mention of the S.A.S. of which he was a member during his army career and also his Policing days at the Redfern Academy. Reg White, Jim Bostock and Naomi Baldwin are all home from hospital and recovering. Rex Anderson is not in the best of health.

Gary reported that he made 34 phone calls, 2 hospital visits and 2 coffee meetings during the month for our Branch.

Our May meeting had guest speaker Detective Chief lnspector Wayne Hayes, who at the time was attached to the Homicide Squad, recalled his investigations in the death of Private Jacob Kovco in Baghdad, lraq on the 21 April 2006. His death, at age 25 was as a result of a pistol shot to his head whilst he was in his quarters. A very interesting story with regard to difficulties regarding co-operation between NSW Police and the Department of Defence as well as the time lapse between the death and the commencement of the investigation.

Our Welfare Officer Gary Raymond, reported that Ken Buckley who lives alone, was recently admitted to Westmead Hospital after being found in his home after 3 days unable to move. Glad to report Ken has made a great recovery and back walking the dog daily. Ray Robinson wished to thank Gary Raymond for everything that he does and he related that when he was in lntensive Care a visit from Gary was really uplifting and much appreciated.

On 4th May our Branch held a BBQ for "Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea". It was well attended with many of the ladies providing a feast of cakes for the morning tea. The end result was a $400 donation from our Branch to the Cancer Council. John Douglas Hall at his graduation John and Lee Hall’s son, is carrying on the tradition and graduated on 27th April 2017 from the Goulburn Academy and is now stationed at Marrickville. This month’s guest speaker was Greg Hill a Ships Master who has sailed ships around the world. The topic of his talk was "SHIPS a TYPHOON and MURPHYS LAW". it was centered around the Liquid Nitrogen Gas carrier, SHAHAMAH which Greg was sailing to Japan with A full load of LNG. Shortly into the journey it was discovered that there was a leak in one of the pods containing the gas. The ship was slowed and eventually the leak was contained. However worse was to come as they were heading towards a TYPHOON. Paul Wynne and Greg Hill Guest Speaker Greg tried to steer around the typhoon but one of the crew became seriously ill and it was necessary to have him evacuated to hospital.

The Japanese Coast Guard sent two helicopters and as Greg described it, it was the most amazing evacuation with the helicopter hovering above a violently tossing ship to extricate the seriously ill crewman. It took all of 8 minutes. An amazing effort by unbelievably professional Coast guard and ships crew. After passing through the typhoon, they came dockside and after much drama unloaded their cargo. It was a fascinating story, superbly told by an experienced Sea Captain.

Ed.Note – the crewman survived but had he remained on board for much longer, he would not have. Great call Greg. During May and June we had 3 of our members presented with their NSPM. Peter Rackley, Len Balk and Paul Wynne.

Paul Wynne, JP



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