INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Blast From the Past
Volunteers in Action
Next Month's Meeting
MOUNTED CADRE AT THE ROYAL
ADELAIDE SHOW SEPTEMBER 1977.
See article further on .
As from the middle of September I am advised that, due to the tram works, traffic conditions at
Gaol Road/ Port Roadwill be changing with right turns from the City into Gaol Roadno longer possible, however, traffic will still be able to turn right from Gaol Roadinto Port Road.
John White has been very busy in the uniform area with Bethany Boucher and Helen Ward assisted by Dave Aylett. The collection is being sorted out and prepared for box storage to provide better use of the area. This is very timely as we are about to have another very large server and other equipment installed in preparation. Real progress has been made in the last month and I congratulate those involved on their excellent efforts.
The F J Holden is ready for registration and hopefully that will happen in the next week. This will provide us with another vehicle for use in the various pageants etc over the next few months.
Don’t forget that our Christmas dinner will be held in the Police Club on Saturday the 5th December. More information will be sent to you in the near future.
National Police Remembrance Day will be held at the Academy Fort Largs on Tuesday the 29th September at . This is a great event and I encourage members to make the effort to enjoy the ceremony. I will not be able to attend as I will be returning from Whyalla after giving a talk to their history group.
Assistant Commissioner Tony Harrison was the speaker at our 284th meeting on Friday the 4th. Tony was following up on his previous talk earlier this year and once again he had the full attention of the audience. He spoke of various proposed law reforms and how they hoped to impact on crime. I was surprised to find that the murder rate has been fairly static and that we average about 22-24 per year with 93-95% solved. Sex crimes from 40-50years ago are being investigated as a result of the Mulligan Report and it is easy to see how resource intensive this must be.
He also spoke about the Commercial and Electronic Crime Investigation and the “Cyber Criminals”, and the massive job that the Drug Investigation Branch has in coping with the drug problem. He was asked many questions by the audience and was received with warm applause after being presented with an appreciation certificate and a bottle of wine by Owen Bevan.
Our major raffle was drawn and winners are currently being notified. My thanks to Kevin Johnson for his effort in this project which will net the sum of $3,535.25 after expenses. Our normal monthly raffle raised $82.00.
Next month’s meeting will be on Friday the 2nd October and I will be speaking about the Sundown Murders. If that doesn’t bring Charlie Hopkins to a meeting nothing will as this was his famous case, and I have him to thank for all the information I now have in relation to this murder.
(Continued from previous issue)
While the request for a Sunday off was being shuttled back and forth between the Association and the Commissioner, to come to an unsatisfactory conclusion as far as the Association was concerned, the matter of provision of pensions for police came up. It was this matter that caused the shelving of the request for a day off, as the Association did not wish to antagonise the Government, who were considering a pension scheme for the Police.
The Association had already moved in the matter of the Bill, having procured several copies for guidance, of the New South Wales Pensions Bill. Whether the Association was to be recognised by the Government or not, it was apparent that they intended to have a voice in this matter, though unrecognised the refused to be ignored. In May of 1913 the executive wrote to the Chief Secretary requesting him to give them the outline of the proposed Bill, the reason being given that the Association wished to give assistance to the drafting of the Bill.
It was stated that their interest was to see that the Bill was satisfactory to all parties involved, and as the pension fund was to b e mainly financed by the men themselves, this request was not unreasonable. In line with the Government's policy of non-recognition, this request was ignored, a month later another letter was sent requesting a reply. Another month passed without reply, and it was proposed that an interview be arranged with the Chief Secretary to discuss the matter. It was decided, however, to wait and see what would be proposed by the Government.
On October 31, 1913, the executive having been unable to contact the Chief Secretary, it was decided that Sergeant Beare should see if the Chief Secretary would receive a deputation. This was to be from members of the Association and introduced by a Member of Parliament. This approach brought a reply from the Chief Secretary to the effect that the Bill would be presented when ready, but he would be happy to receive any suggestions in writing. With this encouragement Sergeant Beare wrote the following letter:
In the Bill now in course of preparation, dealing with the Police Pension Scheme, the members of that body respectfully ask that a superannuation allowance similar to that in force in New South Wales be provided for, such allowance to apply to each and every member of the South Australian Police Force.
Those men who joined the forced prior to the passing of the Police Distribution Act of 12904 did so on the understanding that on retirement they would receive an allowance of one month's pay for each year of service, as set forth in the Police Act of 1869-70 clause 104. It is felt by all men concerned that the Honorable Chief Secretary cannot but notice how grossly unfair, and how contrary to established principle, that an Act made later in the year 1904 should have retrogressive application, extending over a period of 10 years back to 1894.
It is questionable such a travesty of justice would for one single moment be entertained by any other commercial or private management. Members who joined between these two dates, that is between the years 1894-1904, were led to believe that they were entitled to the same retiring compensation as applied to those members who joined previous to 1894.
Consequently there are now in the service over one hundred men who became members during that period who have absolutely no claim to any pension whatsoever. It would be manifestly unfair then to retire those men except under the same provisions as applies to those who joined prior to the year 1894. I am quite aware, Sir, that clause 104 of the Police Act provided that no persons should have any claim in the event of the fund proving insufficient to meet all demands, yet, Sir, that clause was not even read to me or others. Mr. Peterswald, the then Superintendent of Police, was very careful in pointing out the advantages in joining the Police Force and emphasised the fact that every man would be entitled to one month’s pay for every year of service.
This indeed was the main attraction, the chief inducement held out to prospective recruits. I respectfully submit that the Police Superannuation Bill is not applicable to the wants of policemen and does not give satisfaction to those members who contribute to its funds. Firstly there is the enforced medical examination which does not apply to the other branches of the public service, nor are those other branches confronted with dangers that face policemen on duty, not to mention the seemingly less serious dangers from exposure to all sorts of weather, especially during night work, which occupies nine months out of the twelve.
Members of the public services have the inestimable advantage of going to work at the regular hours of eight or nine, and (as the case may be) of spending their nights at home, or being free from all duties on Sundays and holidays. The policeman on the other hand enjoys none of these privileges, not for him are the nights, the holidays, or even the Sabbath, not even overtime wages, time and one-half which is paid to any other public service, together with tea money, and all other expensed which overtime often bears with it.
Policemen should be independent of all persons if their duty is to be performed fairly and zealously. Treatment such as has been meted out to the lot , by the Act of 1904, is not conducive to the execution of their duties in such manner. One might cite numerous instances in which constables have been tempted with bribes in various shapes to overlook offences of a public nature, the vision of impoverished old age looming darkly on the horizon of the future, would certainly not be an inducement to resist such temptation. On the other hand the knowledge that provision was made for that old age, that their long years of faithful service was recognised by a grateful country, would it not strengthen their probity and integrity?
It is almost an impossibility for a policeman on ordinary wages to put by sufficient to keep them if anything compels them to retire at the age of sixty five. This also, Sir, is a matter worthy of your most careful consideration., Evidence can be obtained to show that the most up-to-date Police Force in the world was brought to its very high standard by a retiring allowance scheme which permitted a sense of security after retirement. I refer, Sir, to the English Police, because the bill dealt with not only the London Metropolitan Police but also those of the counties and boroughs .
You will pardon me, Sir, when I tell you that the police are suspicious, that the Public Service Superannuation Board are not desirous of losing the membership of perhaps two hundred men, which they would do in the event of our Bill being passed retiring the privileges accorded the police prior to 1894. When an appeal was made to the Government in 1898 and again in 1902, to provide a Bill to deal with this question of a retiring pension, they were promised that something would be done. That was long before the Public Service Superannuation Fund was thought of. Finally in 1911, another appeal was made and now that a Bill for that purpose is in sight, I respectfully beg on behalf of every member of the police force that no person, even the management of the Public Service Superannuation Fund, be allowed to intervene and jeopardise our chances of success. The police have every confidence in the Government, and especially the Honorable Chief Secretary, who must have taken considerable trouble to get possession of facts relating to the provisions necessary for the needs of the service, but they cannot understand why the delay in the preparation of the Bill.
Should anything happen to the Honorable Chief Secretary all the work that has been done would have to be gone over again and then another delay of a year or more. For that reason we ask that the Bill may be introduced in the house this session.”
Apart from two executive meetings concerned with the running and operation of the Association, no meetings were held in 1914, the next recorded general meeting being on April 14, 1915. It was explained at this meeting that no meetings had been called, or business conducted during 1914, because the Government was against the Association. It had been thought best in these
circumstances that the Association keep quiet and wait results. It was believed by the executive that the late Chief Secretary had done his best to frame a Bill for the benefit of police. (An election had again changed the Government).
At this meeting it was proposed to start a sick fund for comrades on sick leave without pay, but this suggestion was held over to see what the new Labor Government was going to do for the police. F.C.C.Storey, who was on sick leave without pay, was voted ten pounds from the Association funds.
NEXT MONTH: The fight to get the bill before the House of Assembly continues.
The following article appeared in The South Australian Police
Publication the “GUARDIAN’ September/October 1977, No. 4
And was provided by member Shirley Hayward
The Mounted Cadre staged several crowd pleasing displays at the recent Royal Adelaide Show. Twenty members, and their horses, participated in a gruelling schedule of 19 events in six days
The Musical Ride which is always an impressive spectacle was presented three times. The ride has been part of the cadre’s repertoire for ‘as long as anyone can remember’ according to older members.
Bill Matthews said “A judge at the Royal Adelaide Show this year told me that our musical ride was classed as the best in Australia”.
The riders have a busy schedule. This year, they have already participated in three regional shows; Whyalla, Strathalbyn and McLaren Vale and one interstate vaulting competition.
They are also competing in the Gold Cup tent pegging competition in Melbourne.
At the same time they won the South Australian Tent Pegging Association Championships at West Beach on their Sunday ‘Relaxation Day”.
Senior Constable Bill Matthews said “We were pleased with the tent pegging Championship and we continued the good work at the Adelaide Show”
On the first day the competition for Best Turned Out Police Horse and Rider was won by F.C.C. Peter Colbey on Lochinvar.
Runner up was Senior Constable Bob Dunn on Iota. Mounted Constable Jim Love on Florian was third. This event provokes keen competition among members. Some spend weeks cleaning and preparing equipment for the line-up.
The Best Police Horse was won by Lochinvar.
In the pairs the top award was taken by Iota and Defiant ridden by John Schroeder and Mick Foster. The Best Police Rider Award was won by Wayne Gibson on Flight.
An Australian Hotel Association representative gives The Police Band plays in the central
Peter Colbey the Best Turned Out Award arena for the Musical Ride
Neil Kipping -
We Welcome you …….
Friday 2nd October, 2009 at 8.00 pm
This promises to be a very interesting evening with President Geoff Rawson presenting his very popular illustrated presentation of Charlie Hopkins memories of the infamous Sundown Murders. This is just one of the most requested talks Geoff presents on his outside visits on behalf of the Society.
by life member Jim Sykes.
Most police officers would have had some association with the Reserve during their career.
To most, it brings back pleasant memories, and many stories flow from the route marches, camping out, being lowered into a mine shaft and told to find one's way out via a darkened tunnel, refresher courses, firearms training, field exercises, or the retired members' annual picnic/barbecue, which are only a few of the varied functions that are continually being held there since it was acquired in 1960.
It was also chosen as a venue for the world-renowned equestrian three day event in 1980, and as a short retreat for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth on her actual birthday during her hectic Australian tour in 1982. The recently completed Heysen trail for bush walkers which extends from Cape Jervis to the northern Flinders Ranges, passes through the property.
However few members seem to know anything of its history and how it progressed from a ravaged and abandoned tract to its present idyllic setting. There is very little documentation on it, so as I was directly involved in its early development I have endeavoured to record it for posterity.
The property is situated approximately 16 miles south-east of the city, and about two miles west of the township of Echunga. It was originally part of the Echunga gold field which was known as the Echunga diggings. Diggings Road is still an access road to it. It was an alluvial field and the ore was found mainly in clay pockets by shallow working. The field was worked intermittently from approximately 1860. A fossicker was still there when it was acquired by the department
Brigadier J.G. McKinna, the Commissioner of Police, owned a small holding on the northern boundary for many years. There was a residence on it which he used as a weekend retreat. The reserve was leased by Mrs. Heggarty. It was offered to the Brigadier to enable him to extend his property. He recommended the Department acquire it as he considered it would be an ideal site to train cadets in map reading and field exercises, as at times they are required to search for lost persons.
The area comprised 99 acres, and was in the watershed of the Mount Bold Reservoir. The reservoir property extended to the southern boundary, the western boundary was the Glen Bold Stud property, and the eastern boundary [unfenced] adjoined approx. 100 acres of virgin land which was administered by the Woods and Forest Department.
The property was thickly timbered with eucalypt [stringy bark] and the watercourses and low lying land areas were covered with blackberry bushes. There were also numerous shafts and other excavations. The deepest were approx. 20 feet. The northern section consisted of rocky outcrops and the remainder of white loam varying in depth from a few inches to several feet. Water flowed in the watercourses during the winter and spring. The Department took over the lease in 1960.
Shortly after its acquisition, cadets were taken to the area on field exercises and camped in tents. Their meals were prepared by a member of the Emergency Operations Group with a mobile cooker. The venture proved successful and resulted in a elevated site being cleared for the positioning of a "Wiles" transportable building, which had previously housed migrants on railway department property at Port Road Thebarton. It functioned as a dormitory and mess room. The mobile cooker with its portable water tank was still used for preparing meals. S.C. Peter Warman was the cook from the E.O.G. and at times his menu included grilled snake. The names of volunteers for this delicacy were recorded on a plaque on the mess room wall which listed them as members of the Snake Eaters Club. The black water snake was prevalent. A bore was sunk to a depth of 300 feet and an elevated water tower installed to cater for ablutions.
An eastern boundary fence was erected by E.O.G. personnel. They were allowed one day a month for field exercises and this was included in it. The post holes were sunk by a local farmer with his mechanical post hole digger.
As the property was a bush fire hazard, and fires had previously damaged the area, all trees which skirted the dormitory/mess building were lopped. Each year prior to the bush fire season, cadets were required to remove all growth from the stumps and clean the perimeter area of all flammable material.
In 1966 an approach was made to the Echunga Council to remove tree stumps in the fire break area surrounding the building, with their heavy duty machinery. The stumps were pushed into heaps and the area ripped to remove roots. When completed, cadets were given the task of removing the stones. The area was raked [rakes borrowed from the Director of Emergency Fire Services Mr. Fred Kerr] oat seed was broadcast and the area again raked. The final result was a magnificent crop of green pasture which was cut with scythes by cadre personnel and taken to barracks to supplement forage for the horses.
Due to this initiative it was decided to assess the possibility of any other ground in the area suitable to develop for grazing. A further ten acres which traversed the central section was considered to have potential, and arrangements were made for an earth moving contractor to clear it. However, shortly after commencing, due to the heavy undergrowth, his machine narrowly missed overturning when it encountered a concealed mine shaft. It was then necessary to burn off the section before he would proceed. When cleared, each cadet camp was required to devote half a day to the development of the area. This included picking stones off the cleared area and putting them in the mine shafts which were exposed. The larger boulders were transported to the Academy for construction of rockeries in the Fort.
As the Department did not have any property to agist its horses, it was the practice to spell them on private land. In 1966, which was a drought, horses were paddocked at Chain Of Ponds, Port Noarlunga and other places. The paddocking fees were a dollar a day and there was no pasture in the paddocks and this necessitated cadre personnel travelling daily to these places to feed them.
Up until this time no personnel or other resources were available to develop the area, so as it was evident it could be used for agistment, a civilian was employed [Clyde Osborn, retired army W.O.]. Shortly afterwards two police officers were also attached to the area. [S.C's Eric Hill and the late Preston Chadwick]. The new area was soon fenced, seeded and shelters constructed for the horses. The pasture thrived and approximately eight horses were introduced.
The next acquisition was a small "David Brown" tractor and a three ton Bedford tip truck. This enabled access roads to be formed. However, it necessitated the construction of an implement shed to house them. This was made possible from material from the abandonment of huts at the academy. These "two man" units had previously been used by The Mines Department personnel at Radium Hill, and were obtained by the Department when the mining venture ceased operations. Cadets were accommodated in them until the new dormitories were constructed at the academy.
A dry stone wall [no bonding] was voluntarily constructed by Mr. Shanks of Aldgate [Clyde Osborn's father-in-law] from large boulders on the property. This allowed the area immediately in front of the mess/dormitory building to be terraced. This provided a level area which was lawned. A flag pole was installed.
The Commissioner, Brigadier McKinna was requested to remove the large radio towers which were on the property of the Magistrates Court. These towers were used by the Police Radio Section prior to moving into the new Police Headquarters Building. The towers were considered unsightly and it was desirous to have them removed before the next Adelaide Festival of Arts. The Department was prepared to give them away, but enquiries failed to find anyone interested in their "removal", as they had been there for 25 years. The Cliff Rescue Squad [police personnel] eventually volunteered to remove them. The steel uprights of these towers were later used to erect a large hay shed at the reserve. S/C Bill Bird, a member of the Emergency Operations Group was responsible for its erection [40' x 40'].
During the gold rush era in the 19th century, the miners had constructed two dams in the water course which passes through the property, to wash their ore. The earthen bank of one dam had been breached by flood waters. This was repaired and the bank raised. During the summer a portable petrol engine was used to irrigate the pasture from the water in the catchment, and it flourished. An experiment was tried with sudax [sweet corn] which reached a height of 11 feet. It was reaped green for fodder. Later another dam was excavated and an electric pump, irrigation pipes and sprinkler system installed. Cadets assisted in digging trenches for the pipes as part of their half day development plan when doing courses in the area. One evening ten kangaroos which inhabit the Mount Bold area were seen on the police pastures. They were not disturbed. There was always plenty of evidence they regularly visited the reserve.
Due to the success of the development, Mr. McKinna suggested we consider acquiring the area on the eastern boundary, which was undeveloped and administered by the Woods and Forest Dept. A lease was eventually approved for the northern section comprising of approximately 50 acres, [the southern section abutted the Echunga Council rubbish tip, and also had several deep mine shafts where a prospector was fossicking].
The new section was on higher ground, not as thickly timbered and more arable than the original block. The timber was removed except for the gum trees. The removed eucalypts were pushed into rows and subsequently sawn and delivered to suburban police stations, each station being allowed an annual supply of wood to warm the office. The area was divided into five paddocks, access roads constructed, shelters for horses erected and trees planted between each dividing fence to offset problems from fractious horses in adjoining paddocks.
The above venture enabled all police horses to be agisted on the property, and necessitated a permanent cadre attachment to the area, [the late Sergeant Ted Doyle].
Due to the increase in recruitment, a greater number of cadets and adult recruits were doing courses at the reserve. The number in the course was also increasing [course 63 had 64 recruits]. It therefore became necessary to construct a kitchen and dispense with the mobile cooker. When this was completed it also enabled the employment of civilian staff who lived in the area to handle messing duties.
The dormitory also became inadequate. This resulted in the construction of a large building extending from near the old dormitory. It was built of concrete blocks [besser blocks] and built by workshop personnel [S/C's Jack Wilton; Eric Hill and Brian Black]. The plan submitted to Besser Company provided for 25 double decker bunk beds with a window alternating between each one. It had four doors for easy egress. Also it provided for a large open fire place at one end, and the breast was to be faced with coloured sandstone found on the property. Besser provided the final plan and specifications. When completed it enabled the old dormitory to be used for extending the messroom and ablution block.
Although many stringy bark trees were cleared from the property, hundreds of ornamental trees and native shrubs were planted in their place, including the avenue of Cootamundra wattle which border the entrance roadway. All were seedlings when planted by S/C Ray Clift who was attached to E.O.G. staff. The oaks, elms and ash are now a delightful sight in the autumn. There are still ten acres near the southern boundary of the original section in its natural state and is the habitat of a large variety of birds including rare species. A good selection of native flora, in particular wild flowers, also flourish there. During a recent visit, members of the Adelaide Orchid Society had sought permission to visit to view a native variety. The whole reserve was voluntarily declared a wild life sanctuary in the mid 1960's.
Since my immediate involvement in the Reserve it has continued to develop. Six transportable huts were brought from the Pennington Migrant Hostel when the department bought it to resite the transport section. The huts were placed at the rear of the original building. These have now replaced the large dormitory for sleeping quarters. One hut is used for an office and mess room for staff. The large dormitory has now been converted into classrooms and a lounge, and are used continually for seminars and courses throughout the year.
In 1975 a dairy farm [Trenorden's] on the eastern boundary was purchased, enabling the Department to establish a breeding program for their horses. It also provided sufficient arable land for farming which in turn has reduced forage expenses. Two police houses have also been erected on this property for staff.
Another acquisition for the reserve was the construction of a Small Arms Range in the S.W. corner of the original section. This has enabled a continual training program to be implemented for all staff in the handling and care of firearms. This facility alone brings all personnel to the area.
In conclusion I would like to record my appreciation to the late Trevor Churchett for his support and dedicated interest in the development of this project. He was O/C Stores and Property section and his efforts greatly helped in the success of the venture. At the request of his family his remains were interred in a capsule near the front of the main building, and is marked by a large boulder especially selected by the staff at the reserve.
RAFFLE PRIZE WINNERS.
Our thanks to all the members and friends who supported our efforts in this our first major lottery. The Raffle was drawn at our Friday 4th September Meeting by Assistant Commissioner Tony Harrison.
The lucky winners are -
1st Prize: S. FREAK of CHELTENHAM
2 nd Prize: P. RADFORD of MORPHETTVILLE
3rd Prize: E. RUMBLOW of ALBERTON
4th Prize: S. REES of GLENELG
5th Prize: S. LANE of BELLEVUE HEIGHTS
6th Prize: H. EVERINGHAM of PARINGA
7th Prize: A. KELLOCK of SAPOL, State Intel.
These winners have been contacted and arrangements
made re delivery of their prize
August has been a fairly quiet month for visits both internal & external, allowing volunteers time to concentrate on their normal weekly duties .
On August 5th Geoff Rawson paid a visit to a very lively group of The Active Elders Association at Ascot Park treating them to his very popular Sundown Murders Presentation.
On the 18th August Kevin Beare, Ray Freak, Max Griffiths, Ian Radford and Geoff Rawson provided Devonshire Morning Tea and a Museum Tour to a very appreciative group of 22 members of the Tea Tree Gully Probus Club.
The “HUE & CRY” is Published by the
South Australian Police Historical Society Inc.,
Thebarton Police Barracks
C/- G.P.O. Box 1539