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President's Page
Foundation Day 2006.

Earliest Police Presence

Pre-History of Society
Museum plaques
Whats happening at Barracks?
Next Month's Meeting


Opening of Richmond Tram Line Mr. Codrington driving
Mr. Goodman General Manager of MTT beside him
Insp. Burke on Left.


Our very successful Foundation day on Friday the 28th April 2006 featured the re-opening of the police museum and the naming of the  building and galleries.   Approximately 110 people were present to see the unveiling of the plaques and to tour the museum after morning tea.  A full   report on the day is featured in this issue but credit must go to all those volunteers involved.

On Friday the 5th May our 250th monthly meeting was held in the meeting room and featured Jim Birmingham, who gave an   informative and entertaining talk about public transport, with spirited questions from the audience.  It was very interesting to learn how public transport can be used to our  advantage. In thanks Jim was  presented with an appreciation certificate together with a copy of ‘Tales of the Troopers’.

An impressive display of John McKinna’s service medals was recently purchased by the Society.  At our May Meeting Tony & Kathryn Woodcock made a very generous donation to cover the cost of this Collection. We sincerely thank them for their generosity.

The transport volunteers have also been   active -  on Foundation Day the vehicle shed was transformed into another gallery with details of each vehicle presented on special stands constructed by the volunteers, which added to the occasion.

I am pleased to announce that the William Fisk is returning to Thebarton and will be on display for open day.  The police launch will be displayed  in the vehicle shed and is on permanent loan  to the Society thanks to the Holdfast Bay City Council.

Now that Foundation day has passed, our efforts will concentrate on Open Day 21 May 2006.  We still need more volunteers for the day so if you can find some time to assist please contact the Society.

 We will have a briefing at 9.00am to allocate tasks. The official starting time is 10.00am and we hope to clear the area by 4.00pm.  The     parade ground is to be free of vehicles so it is important to car pool where possible.  For those volunteers arriving early there will be some parking within the barracks.

The long awaited start on converting our  videos to CD has now commenced thanks to the efforts of Bob and Helen Ward who are learning to use the equipment and seem to have just about mastered the basics.  This is an important project which will take considerable time as they will be checking the quality of videos and keeping track of those suitable for conversion.  Unfortunately, because of deterioration,  it is already too late for some and we will be looking for original film versions to be converted where possible.

Bob has also volunteered to act as the artefact curator and he and Pauline Elshaw will soon commence  training with the History Trust to assist in this task.  The quantity of incoming material is causing some concern and I thank Bob for volunteering to assist.

Next month’s Meeting will feature Senior Constable David Taylor, whose subject will be Blue Light in South Australia.

We look forward to seeing you there.


   Geoff Rawson


       Douglas  LEANE



                                    We Welcome you …….

Friday 2nd June 2006
at 8.00 pm

SPEAKER: Senior Constable David Taylor

SUBJECT:  Blue Light in South Australia

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At one of our Executive meetings last year, Tony Kaukas proposed that we use this year’s Foundation Day to re-open our museum, which was approved by Committee.

Since that time, work has progressed to the stage where the museum has been made ready for our special day.  Thanks to the work of our volunteers, who made the day possible, in particular the slavish efforts of Kevin Beare & Bob Boscence who, in the last month or so, have worked 5 days a week with long hours to make the day possible ably assisted by Tony Kaukas, Holger Kruse & Bob Job.  Prior to the event there was a working bee by the Thursday group who cleaned all 4 galleries and the result was stunning.

Engraving Services of Nailsworth provided the plaques & signage for the museum, at no cost to the society, & the    Police Credit Union generously provided funding for the new light board in the Bob Potts gallery.

A crowd of about 110 attended the ceremony, which was held in the meeting room due to the weather conditions.  Superintendantt Paul Schraam commenced proceedings & introduced our Secretary Owen Bevan who was master of ceremonies.  The Commissioner Mal Hyde unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the museum.

Verity McKinna, the daughter of the late John McKinna, unveiled a plaque as a tribute to her father after whom the museum building has been named.  The late Commissioner was given this honour in view of his service to the SA     Police & the training of its members.

Rob Clyne unveiled a plaque relating to the naming of the Robert Clyne gallery.  Rob is a foundation member of the Society and was instrumental in the formation of the organisation.

Joy Semmler (formerly Potts) the wife of the late Robert Jarman (Bob) Potts, unveiled a plaque naming  the Bob Potts Gallery.  Bob was a much loved life member of the Society who gave so much of his time & energy to the preservation of our history. 

Dorothy  Pyatt unveiled her plaque naming  the Dorothy Pyatt photo gallery.    Dorothy is a foundation member & has been responsible for the remarkable collection of photographs which now number 23,000.  She has been involved in all aspects of the organisation & has been   responsible for the location  & upgrading of police   gravesites.

Val Harvey, the son of the late Roy Harvey, unveiled a plaque naming the Roy Harvey Gallery.  Roy was        responsible for the magnificent & unique collection of police badges on display in that gallery along with the John White collection of patches & caps.

At the conclusion of the official opening, the Commissioner, accompanied by other guests, toured the museum & spoke warmly of the efforts of the members who made it possible After morning tea all  guests were invited to tour the facility including the vehicle museum.

Rex Grieg & his volunteers performed a minor miracle in converting the vehicle shed into a museum gallery.      Information on each display was mounted on stands specially constructed by the volunteers.

The Galleries proved to be a hit, not only with the visitors & society members, but also with Jane Reilly from   Channel 10. Jane spent a considerable time in all areas of the museum which resulted in an outstanding segment on the news that night.

My personal thanks to all the volunteers who made the day possible.

            Geoff Rawson.






 President Geoff Rawson, Commissioner Hyde
Superintendantt Paul Schraam

                    New Illuminated Display panel in the Bob Potts gallery











This very interesting item comes once again from
member Val Harvey & appeared in the Murray
 Pioneer on the 14th February this year.

Looking Back – an image of yesteryear

Earliest Police Presence



    Overland Corner became a recognised stock camp after Joseph Hawdon drove 300 cattle from the eastern states in 1838.  Cattle & sheep droves became frequent as new pastoral areas opened up which had to be stocked, in addition to supplying meat to the new settlers.  Trouble soon erupted between natives & cattle duffers & the authorities in Adelaide sanctioned the building of a police outpost in 1855 at Overland Corner.  This was accomplished for 90 pounds & police reports record at the close of 1855 that Corporal Hooker, two mounted constables & one native constable were employed at this station.  

     Around 1875 the building of a new police station with attached cells was contracted to Mr. Trigg, of Port Elliott.  All the joinery work was made in his workshop at Port Elliott & every piece marked & packed & transported by paddle steamer to the site.  Stone, lime & sand were available locally. 

The stones were obtained by blowing out the cliffs & sawn up to the required size. 

Four men in a two horse heavy dray & one saddle horse left Port Elliott on a Monday morning & arrived at Overland Corner on a Sunday afternoon, having crossed the river at Wigleys Flat where the horses swam across & the dray was put on a flatbottomed boat.   Seven men took 18 weeks to build the new police station.  The station closed on April 12, 1894 & today this building is a private residence.

     Some of the troopers were accompanied by their families.  Life for the women folk was on isolated one.  When the river was low for seven months supplies had to be hauled overland from Morgan by spring dray.  The troopers were considered good bushmen who would often be away for long stretches of time, tracking cattle & sheep thieves &, in earlier times, escaped convicts . More often they would track travellers who had become lost & without water stood little chance of survival.  Long patrols would take the troopers from the Corner to Chowilla station & sometimes as far as Lake Victoria.  Sergeant John Shaw was one officer respected & always welcomed by the pastoralists of the district.  The grave of his 17 year old son Francis, who died in 1877, lies on the track leading to the Overland Corner   Hotel.

     Other police associated with this station are Jenkin Coles (later Sir Jenkin Coles), Trooper James Howe (later the Hon. J. Howe, MP), H.E. Schmidt, L.C. O’Mahoney, R.C. Stewart, Mounted Constables Watson, Featherstone & Corporal T. Solley,  M.C. David W. Teate was transferred from the Corner to Renmark in October 1889 owing to sly grog & other troubles in that settlement.

In main picture,  on the left, are:- Constance & Samuel McIntosh inspecting the original 1855 police station.  The newly married couple occupied the second police station from 1896 to 1900 when Mr. McIntosh took up duties as Inspector for Village Settlements & River Fisheries.

The Pre-History of our Society

With the 30th anniversary of our Society looming next year, inaugural Honorary Historian Max Slee provides a perspective on its pre-history. With photographs from Society archives.

 The foundation in 1977 of the SA Police Historical Society did not begin as a ‘big bang’ in a vacuum.  Heady elements were already in the air & all that was needed was a detonating spark.

     In fact, the idea of forming a police historical society was suggested many times in the years before it assumed practical shape.      

       Two years before, in January 1976, Jean Schmaal, Doug Symons & I even corresponded on such a proposal.

 But nobody actually took up the challenge, although many individuals undertook valuable work over the years in the preservation & promotion of SA police history & traditions, & many more expressed support & avid interest.  The names of those from the earliest decades will always remain unknown, apart from a few of the well known autobiographers such as Tolmer, Richardson & Le Lievre.


     In the early 1960’s a growing nucleus of enthusiasts emerged who independently  pursued their particular interest in police    history.  This activity took place without the advantage of any organized society & usually without the benefit of direct support from the police department.

     Among the researchers & authors active through the 1960’s & 1970’s, Ern Kirk wrote training material & taught police history at Fort Largs, Mayo did his thesis on the founding years, F.A.J. King wrote his ailed articles for the Police Journal on police industrial history &, of course, Jean Schmaal researched & published her many wonderful Journal articles.

     As well as  researchers there were collector preservers, including Roy Harvey John White, & Gary McCarthur.  Chas. Hopkins did the roundup from country stations which conserved a boon of historical records otherwise at risk of destruction.  Ken Harrod and  others in the Community Affairs team, had for many years maintained a small collection of photos &  artefacts which was destined to form the foundation of the Society’s collection, as well as the magnificent Roy Harvey Badge Collection.

Police history was the subject of public displays at events such as an exhibition officially opened by Commissioner Salisbury at Ayers House in December 1974, at the Willunga Court House National Trust Museum in 1976 & at the opening of Auburn Police Station as a National Trust Museum in 1976 & at the Cornish Festival in Kadina in 1975.  Police historical items were shown by Malcolm Hill & others in children’s TV programs during the early 1970”s.

      These are but some of the host of activities carried our in the years before the Society was founded.  Many more than those named above took part or showed their interest.  Although their names may be missing from this brief   overview, they are quite likely listed among the   attendees at our inaugural meeting.  Many already knew of their mutual interest & would not have been surprised to see each other’s faces at that well attended meeting in December 1977.

      That is the reason why our Society so rapidly assumed practical shape when Robert Clyne, a relative newcomer on the scene, proposed that an association be formed to preserve SA police history.  It was an idea whose time had come.  His determination & organising stirred & energised an already existing       cohort of enthusiasts. 

What was particularly inspired was that Robert quickly   garnered executive interest, recruiting   Commissioner Salisbury as patron & Wally Budd as President &, with that level of support, we were even more speedily launched on our way. 

Then began the hard work & extraordinary dedication by members that has carried the Society onwards to the outstanding achievements of today, which were undreamt of thirty years ago. 


Commissioner Salisbury & Wally Budd


Pauline Elshaw scores her half century


Isabel Brooks  Audrey Walker,  Dorothy Pyatt  & Audrey Wallace wish Coral Robb all the best for her retirement.

‘Ginge’ Walker
kicks up her heels at her 90th birthday celebration


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


Elees Pick
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