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        RIVERINA:
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

 

 

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