One of the main functions and indeed, one of the founding principles of the RFPA, is the Welfare of its Members.
Each RFPA Branch has one or more Welfare Officers who undertake voluntary calls and/or visits to Members who are on the Sick List or who are doing it tough through unusual circumstances. We do not take the place of professional/medical services but provide contact and friendship to Members who are either in hospital or at home and welcome contact.
If you or one of the Members you know needs a Welfare visit or contact, then contact one of the Branch secretaries by email or our State Welfare Officer Ian Moore on 0404 881 513. A Welfare Officer will check that a visit or contact is welcomed and will take it from there.
Last Monday after the CoM meeting I visited Bob and Gael DREW at RNS Hospital, Ward 7E, and
renewed my acquaintance with fellow investigator Bob, from our days at Maitland Division
Detectives office. Bob worked for a few years as a stock investigator at Maitland, and then later for
another 30 in the New England area. He was the Crime Manager at Armidale when he retired in 2005.
Bob has worked his farm at Duraka (Tamworth) since then and has been busy for many years
with cattle and horses. He has been a ‘greencoat’ (ringmaster) at the Royal Easter Show for about
30 years and was recently awarded Life Membership of the Royal Agricultural Society in respect of
his amazing and lengthy service to the rural community whose lives’ work is on display at Homebush
in April every year. Just to keep himself really busy, Bob has been the Clerk of the Course for
Tamworth Jockey Club longer than anyone could remember when we visited the Tamworth Cup
meeting on the previous Friday. The TJC conducted a fundraiser for Bob the night before the Cup,
and why, you ask?…….
About a month ago, Bob was working stock at home on his best horse, when the horse was spooked
by a passing car, jumped sideways over a fence onto a level well below the fence line, and rolled on
top of Bob, who, like every good horseman would do, had stuck like glue. Even such a violent and
unexpected move hadn’t dislodged him. Worse was to become evident though, almost straight
away. Bob couldn’t feel or move his legs or arms. He got a free fast ride in a helicopter to RNS, and
is still there.
The good news is that after several very difficult weeks of not knowing what was going to happen,
Bob’s legs are responding slowly to the expert rehabilitation he is receiving, and one arm had also
begun to respond. It’s going to be a long road for Bob and Gael, and a probable complete change of
lifestyle. He’s a strong man with a determination which will get him through the treatment and back
to Tamworth as soon as circumstances permit. Knowing Bob, and listening to him talking about the
future with his wife, I have every reason to believe his hard work (backed up by his medicos on
Monday) will deliver a much better result than he thought was going to be the case a couple of
weeks ago, when nothing worked.
Anyone with some time to spare on a visit to the St Leonards area would be able to cheer Bob up a
bit with something a bit more refined than ‘hospital’ food. Bob says that food is great, and the care
he is getting is fantastic, but he seems to like a ‘treat’ from the outside world. He did say that even
though he really likes a beer, that would get in the way of his rehab, and he would not appreciate
falling again. So the standard operating (Welfare) procedure of smuggling medicinal grog into
hospital for RFPA members should be abandoned for a while.
All the best old mate. We are with you. 0407920066 will reach Bob’s room, and with some
assistance, he may be able to talk with you for a few minutes between treatments, if you can’t get
there in person.