March 2003

A very big thank you to the volunteers who assisted at Police Expo on the 2/03/03.

The following volunteers gave their time on Saturday 1/3/03 to collect equipment and vehicles and move everything to the Academy.

Dave Aylett, Mark Dollman, Alan Hyson, Ernie McLeod, Frank O’Connor, Allan Peters, Dorothy Pyatt, Geoff Rawson, Kon Rientals, Bill Rojas, Jim Sykes, Rob Thomson, Bob Ward, Tony Woodcock.

On Sunday the 2nd March the following volunteers assisted.

Cohn and Joyce Beames, Isabel Brooks, Mark Dohiman, Esther Flinn, Ian Grose, Shirley Hayward, Alan and Betty Hyson, Alf Jarvis, Bob and Gloria Job, Holger and Ros Kruse, Ernie MeLeod, Frank and Fran O’Connor, Allan Peters, Elees Pick, Dorothy Pyatt, Geoff Rawson, Kon Rientals, Bill Rojas, Jim Sykes, Rob Thomson,
Audrey Walker, Bob and Helen Ward, Tony and Kate Woodcock.

On Monday the 3rd another wonderful group arrived to remove exhibits and transfer equipment back to Thebarton.

Shirley Hayward, Alan Hyson, Alf Jarvis, Bob Job, Holger Kruse, Ernie McLeod, Geoff Rawson, Kon Rientals, Jim Sykes, Rob Thomson, Audrey Walker, Bob Ward.

Our memorabilia sale was a great success thanks to Alan Peters and his helpers. The team managed to take $1145.00 in cash and about half of that should be profit to the society. Well done Alan for your selection of goodies and thank you to all the volunteers and helpers who were so busy on the big day selling memorabilia and stamping the sheets for the children.

Police Expo was again a great success and I hope all those who attended and visited our exhibit enjoyed themselves. We had a very exiting visit from her Excellency Governor Marjorie Jackson who spent time talking to many of our volunteers. She is a very likeable down to earth lady who had time for everyone.

Much has been learnt from this expo to ensure that our next one will be even more successful. We were to have an Audio Visual display which had to be cancelled because of the amount of light coming into the Marquee making the images on screen very difficult to see.

A youth managed to lock himself into one of our handcuffs, which was attached to our large display board. His mother thought I was joking when I told her we didn’t have a key, however I managed to pick the lock and he was able to escape with injured pride. This display will be arranged so that this will not happen in future!

The Thursday group, continue their good work. A special mention for Elees Pick who has now reached the 15,000 mark in photos scanned. There is now less than 3,000 to scan and she is hoping to complete them by the end of April.

At our monthly meeting on Friday the 8th March, Tony Kaukas was the speaker. He entertained us with details of the study he is undertaking for his post doctorate in history, involving the period between the two great wars.

Our next meeting on Friday 4th April 2003 will feature Detective Senior Sergeant Gerry Feltus, who will be speaking on contemporary major criminal investigation.

Work has at last started on our museum renovations, with scaffolding being erected on the eastern side.

The society has had a request for vehicles and memorabilia for celebrations at Victor Harbour. There will be a parade on Saturday the 4th April 2003. A static display will be on show for the rest of the week along with other celebrations. We welcome members who wish to come down to Victor Harbour for the day to enjoy the celebrations. We have been unable at this stage to arrange a bus for transport as they are all booked.

The bus arranged for Bordertown has been cancelled, as there were not enough members to make bookings. We have managed to book the Holden Hill 20 seat coaster for the day. This will not be as comfortable, but as it is a police vehicle, there will be no charge for its use. Any members interested in travelling on this bus should contact me on 0407610755. This will be a first come first serve basis.

Geoff Rawson
Vice President


Commissioner W. F. Johns prior to retirement in 1950, with Mounted Police hierarchy, Training Staff
Barrack Mounted Constables, Police Cadets. 22 February 1950.

Front Row:  Jack Cawley, Alf Menz, LG.J. Merrett, WE. Johns, W.H. King, Eric Meidrum, Geof THearnes, Bill Miller.

Second Row: Bruce Haynes, Peter Robinson, Clarence Gerlach, Keith Hooper, Noel Gosling, Frank Patterson, John O’Shea, Fred Drexel, Bill Coyne, Brian Kelly.

Third Row: Alec Radcliffe, Andy Dempsey, Des Pinson, Dave Watson, TOT!) Howie, Joe Brideson (OW), Bill Harvey, Peter Delderfield, Charlie Price, Max Wagner, Bill Hatswell, Graham Garrett.

Fourth Row: Jim Spratt, Bob Cousins (R.J.), Max Barrett, Mick Daly, Martin Clift, Lloyd Bevan, Linsday Waye, Brian Discombe, John Bitter, Brian Oakley, Kevin Callasch, Lindsay Yen, Brian Bell,

Back Row: Stan Kotz, Jim Louglihead, Jim McDonald, Lance Saunders, ‘Tom’ Sawyer (K.O.), Brian Lovell, Bernie O’Malley, Peter McArthur, Anthony Roberts, Dean Farrelly, Ralph Beinke, Danny Dahlitz, John McEachern, Laurie Hughes, Dean Wundenberg.

February 20th 2003

Dorothy Pyatt was welcomed back to the Executive and the dedicated service of recently retired committee members Rob Thomson and Alan Hyson was also noted and recorded with appreciation to both members.

Discussion concerning the visit by Amanda James from the Community History Unit of the History Trust of South Australia providing helpful advice and information to the Strategic Planning Group on 20/2/03.

A P.A. system is soon to be installed in the meeting room. This will be a much more up to date system that the one currently in use. This system will be funded and installed by SAPOL

Discussion re merit or otherwise of audio and video recording guest speakers addresses at monthly meetings. Further discussion re need for Society to address oral history as a matter of importance.

Tony Woodcock tabled his financial report showing balance of $40,844.58

Congratulations to Dorothy Pyatt for her work on the History of Port Adelaide (yet to be published) and her contribution to the recent Australian publication “Many Voices” dealing with the issues of indigenous child separation.

Discussion re Expo — Supply of refreshments for volunteers for the day approved.

Bill Rojas reported on the current planning for Foundation Day 2003 at Bordertown.

Concern expressed as to Society artefacts on loan. Terms of loan, details of care of items and appropriate paperwork need to be addressed. Dorothy Pyatt agreed to write a policy statement along with pro forma for signing by organizations or individuals who borrow items. Other policy documents under review.

Geoff Rawson



Dear Janice,

I thoroughly enjoyed Ern Kirk’s tales of the Junior Constables’ Police Band in the 1930s in the December 2002 issue of our excellent journal. In a later era (1949), my efforts to learn the cavalry trumpet and bugle under the patient tuition of that excellent trumpeter, cornet player and Christian, MC Peter Robinson, soon had me banished back to “mucking out” and similar duties.

Ernie’s mentions of Mulga Bill Johns reminded me of an incident that I had forgotten until my old friend Ralph Beinke recalled it on my last visit to Adelaide, some years ago. On 22nd February 1950, just before his retirement as Police Commissioner, Mulga Bill visited Thebarton Barracks for an official photograph with the Mounted Police hierarchy, Barracks staff, Mounted Cadre and Junior Constables. [The photograph is reproduced above from Jack Cawley’s book Blue on Grey]. After the usual ‘tallest on the right and left, shortest in the middle’ shuffling, we settled down for the photo. Someone noticed that Mulga Bill was not wearing his white gloves. A discreet inquiry (Rajah King?) revealed that he did not have any! The final print shows Mulga Bill’s hands discreetly draped in white handkerchiefs provided at very short notice (Run, boy!) by JCs Ralph Beinke and Tan Roberts (eighth and eleventh in the back row).

Ralph, Danny Farrelly, Danny Dahlitz (both in the back row) and myself had come up from the old Semaphore Depot in 1949. When the photograph was taken, I had just finished a stint as typist, Gestetner operator and general ‘gopher’ in the Mounted Superintendent's (Superintendent Les Merrett) warren of offices above a rather good hamburger shop in Gouger Street, where I remember sharing an office with Sergeant Schneider and a row of old and unlocked cupboards that held the force’s collection of very old and quite recent handguns, to which visiting detectives occasionally referred. I learned to hate the smell of the red correcting fluid for Gestetner stencils, which was the only recourse for the typist in those pre computer days, and which made your mistakes stick out like ..! I must have typed a thousand stencils — mostly, I think copies of criminal cases for dispatch to Mounted Police in country stations to assist in their preparation for Sergeants’ examinations?

My new job was typist etc. in the Training Office in the old hospital at the Barracks entrance, under the watchful eyes of Eric Meldrum and Punchy Hearnes and the gentle supervision of Bill Miller. All training papers and examination results had to be typed in a standard format (five carbons for six copies) and finished at the bottom with a symbol which I still often use over 50 years later to end a page. Perfection was the only acceptable standard of work in the Training section and, in its special atmosphere, one was happy to try to achieve it.

Eric Meldrum in those days lived “over the shop” in the roughly divided back part of the hospital. He did not know for many years after how often the kind and discreet Mrs Meldrum guided perhaps the only interstate JC, whose sole relative was in Melbourne, though loneliness — and several romances — over cups of tea and scones “out the back” while Eric was instructing around the corner, over the messroom. I also remember the arrival of the dreaded Sgt Fallon to found the Advanced Driving School and am pleased to see that the Society will soon reoccupy its refurbished rooms as a permanent Police museum.

I had, of course, joined the force with the ambition of becoming a Mounted Constable. My riding ability proved to be about equal to my musical talents; that old stager Police Horse Jack became ever more visibly distressed at my approach to his stall and I think I held the record for the shortest ride ever on PH Romance. Teaching me having defeated successively Errol Schwerdt and Jack Cawley, I later joined Bill Miller as, I think, the only representatives of the Foot Police on the Barracks staff. I remained until replaced in the Training Office by MC Clarrie Gerlach when I was accepted — must to my surprise —for the first course at the new Army Officer Cadet School at Portsea, Victoria in January 1952. Commissioner Green wisely advised me to accept an offer of leave-without-pay for the six months’ course — in case I failed. I finally quit the force on 7 June 1952, the same day as I was commissioned into the Australian Regular Army — and also my 21st birthday

I know that the discipline and excellent training I received during my four years as a JC and FC stayed with and helped me during my later career in the Army. Certainly, nothing in the first six months ‘recruit training’ of Army life was more demanding and testing than the first few months at Semaphore. When I joined the Army, my rifle drill wasn’t too bad — and, after Punchy Hearnes’ tuition, I boxed much better than a number of other recruits. Until, that is, I ‘punched above my weight’ once too often and copped a thorough hiding!

They were happy days. I had come to Adelaide to join the Force on my seventeenth birthday in 1948, on the recommendation of a friend of my elder brother. This man had served with Ken throughout the Middle East and New Guinea campaigns in 2/7th Infantry Battalion (a Victorian unit) and was a former JC -and perhaps MC?. Unfortunately, I can’t now remember his name; and my brother died aged 29, during the Korean War. But I have always remained grateful for that guidance and shared my advisor’s admiration of and pride in the South Australian Police.

With best wishes to you and to our excellent Newsletter,

Tan Roberts


P.S. We never got our handkerchiefs back!


Attached to your ‘January 2003’ copy of the ‘Hue & Cry’, you will find a ‘subscription form’ for the year 2003. For those members who have not already forwarded their subscriptions, would you please complete the renewal section of this form, DETACH where indicated and return it to the Society office, together with your payment.

‘Early attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.’

SINGLE MEMBERSHIP - $10.00                                                           FAMILY MEMBERSHIP - $15.00


In order to save administrative time and costs, provision has been made on this renewal form for any member who may wish to pay their subscriptions for a year or more in advance (maximum 2 years). If you would like to make an advance payment, please indicate in the area provided. In the event that subscriptions may increase in these years, those members who have taken advantage of this advance payment provision, will of course not be expected to pay any increased amount.

If you have any query as to the status of your membership, please do not hesitate to contact our Treasurer, Tony Woodcock, on any Thursday at the Thebarton Police Barracks between 11 . 00 a.m.. and 3.OO p.m. on 82074098.

Relax and Enjoy ‘YourseLf on this years Police Foundation Day.

Why not go by Bus!
The Society has tentatively booked a luxury coach liner for the 3 hour (each way) journey to Bordertown and return. To enable this service to run a minimum of 40 people, to a maximum of 45 people, are needed to make a firm booking and payment of $44.00 ea.

If 40+ firm bookings and payments are not received by 4.3O pm, Friday 14 March, the Coach company has indicted it will be forced to withdrawn the booking — in which case those who have booked and paid will be notified and all moneys returned.


For further information please contact: Bill Rojas, Assistant Secretary  Tel (W): 8204 2229

South Australia Police


10.30 AM

13th APRIL 2003

All members, family, and friends of the South Australian Police Historical Society are invited to attend the South Australia Police Anzac Memorial Service, in memory of serving police officers who died on active service during two world wars and during peace keeping duties in Cyprus.

The service will be of about 30 minutes duration and will be followed by morning tea served in the Academy Mess.

Wreaths will be laid.

Parking will be available in the Academy ‘s Gym Car park
located immediately to the right after entering the main gates.

*PLEASE NOTE: In case of wet weather, the service will be relocated to the Academy ‘s Auditorium, located upstairs in the Mess budding.

Enquiries to: Bill Rojas, Assistant Secretary
Tel: (W) 8204 2229

Residents win
fight to keep
control of park
A RESERVE at Davoren Park has been saved as community land.
Playford Council has kept the 
Pete Smith Reserve, in Ferris St,
on its community land register.

The reserve — which was named 
after a local policeman for his 24
years of service to the area — was
one of five not to lose its com­
munity land classification.
Other sites saved from ex­
clusion include the John Rice and 
Hamdon St reserves at Elizabeth
Vale, the Virginia Oval and the 
Promotion Drive Drainage Re­
serve at Hillbank.
The council has excluded 35 
sites from its community land 
register, including reserves, car 
parks, council offices and depots.


The classification is given to all 
council owned or held land other 
than roads.
Removing the community land 
status gives councils the power 
to sell land and properties under 
their control without seeking 
State Government consent.
A residents’ petition was sent 
to the council asking for the Pete 
Smith Reserve to remain in coma
Mountie hands.
The council also received a 
submission from the South Austin
radian Police Historical Society.
“It is our belief that this is the 
first step in making such reserves 
available for sale and that the 
reserve would be lost to the chill
den of that neighbourhood,” so
city vice-president Geoff 
Rawson said.
“Once an honour is given, it

becomes part of our proud his
tory which cannot be changed.
“Pete Smith park should re
main as an example to others of 
dedication to the community at 
Councils had until December 
31 to review their community 
land titles.
Residents feared the review 
would lead to a wide sleigh of 
public assets.
Councils have rejected those 
claims. They say the exclusion 
will reduce. cost and time, maxi
mise commercial return and give
them greater flexibility in hand
lingo their assets.
Under the Local Government 
Act 1999, community land can be 
leased or licensed only after pub
lic consultation.

Taken from The Advertiser, 2.l.20O3.  P24.  "Council Round-up"
This article as mentioned in 'From the Executive Committee Meeting Notes of 12.1.2003.

The “HUE & CRY” is
Published by the South Australian
Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/— Box 1539 S.A. 5083
G.P.O. Adelaide 5001
Janice Hutchin
Galway Avenue, Broadview


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