Our monthly coffee mornings have been well supported
for the months of March, April and May. Those members who regularly
attend are Kevin and Lois Barber, Mick and Helen Robinson, Bruce and
Christine Christensen, Ron and Jan Beard, John and Sandra Holstein,
Barry Winkler, Steve Turner, Graham Garrod, Fred Lonergan, Ray
Green, Frank Goodyer, Gus Williams, Bob Wighton, Mick Bradley, Jeff
Abel, Geoff Wolsey, Tony Madigan and Grahame Winson (Apology to
Grahame as I have been spelling his last name incorrectly during the
past editions of this magazine). Sorry to any members that I may
have left their names off the list.
For the April coffee morning, Det.Sgt. Phil
Malligan gave a wonderful power point presentation of his trip to
Canada after being awarded a scholarship to work with the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The city of Edmonton has a
population of over 1.5 million people and is scattered over a wide
area. Phil, spent a number of nights in Edmonton, and spoke to the
Edmonton Veterans. Phil pointed out that there were a number of
highlights during his trip, but the weather in Edmonton was -40
degrees Celsius and in Wagga on the same day it was over 40 degrees
Celsius. Another highlight was his dinner with the Veterans
(retirees) of Edmonton and how similar their experiences (war
stories) were to those of our retirees in Wagga. The Commissioner of
Edmonton was so impressed with Phil, that he offered him a 6-hour
helicopter night flight.
One of the humorous sidelines to Phil’s
presentation, was that one of our members, Bob Wighton, was late
arriving (as usual) and it was not until the end of the presentation
that he made an appearance. Apparently, he joined a group of men
sitting in the club, but after about 40 minutes he realised that he
was with a church group. As an apology for unpunctuality he has
kindly offered to say grace at our next dinner.
For our normal meeting in April, I was able to
secure the services of Det. Insp. Russell Oxford as our guest
speaker. Russell was only too willing to travel to Wagga Wagga to
make a presentation about the murder of Jamie Gao, and the
subsequent investigation and charging of former police officers
Rogerson and McNamara for the murder of Gao. On his way to Wagga, he
was able to meet with and stay with one of his former work
colleagues, Graham Rosetta.
When I confirmed Russell’s visit, I spoke to
Det.Insp. Darren Cloake, and Acting Supt. Andrew Spliet with the
intention of inviting any of the staff within the District if they
wished to attend. It was decided that the District would bring the
“Retired Police Day” forward and accept the responsibility and any
expenses incurred. We had a full contingent of members attending,
and together with the uniform and plain clothes staff, there were
between 60 – 80 persons in attendance.
The excellent presentation by Russell was
fascinating, informative and kept the audience enthralled. His
knowledge and dedication to the investigation was astounding. At the
conclusion of the presentation the District presented Russell with a
small gift of appreciation for his attendance.
At this presentation it was pleasing to see Norm
Deen and Grahame Mathieson travel from Narrandera, as well as Terry
Goode from Temora, Jock and Sheila Rogerson who came all the way
from Young. We also had visitors from the Albury branch, namely
Peter Beacroft and Beth & Graham Docksey.
In mid-May we joined forces with the Murray River
branch, and met at the historic town of Culcairn, situated on the
main rail line halfway between Wagga Wagga and Albury. We had lunch
at the historic Culcairn Hotel, which was built in 1891, and was the
largest hotel between Sydney and Melbourne. Wonderful country style
lunches were provided, and those attending were Bob Martin, Bob
Hogno, John and Sandra Holstein, Bruce and Christine Christensen,
Kevin and Lois barber, Bob and Sandra Wighton, and Gus and Jan
Williams. Those who attended from the Murray branch, were Beth and
Graham Docksey, Brian Rosenwarne, and Ron Galea. There were a number
of other members attending, however I have forgotten their names.
With the reengineering of the Cootamundra LAC, I
have been in contact with a number of their members, who have
indicated that they are willing to join our branch. An invitation
has been given to them join our next general meeting in June.
Garry ( Gus ) Williams