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From the President
My report for this month will be focussed on the coming festive season. However, before commenting on that I would firstly like to sincerely thank the large number of members who attended at the unveiling of the magnificent plaque at the site of the former Julie Creek Police outpost on Friday 17 November. The event conducted by the Society and supported by the Regional Council of Goyder was attended by over 150 people and concluded with afternoon tea being served at the nearby farm house of Jim and Rhonda Dunstan. Many thanks to Bob Potts, Esther Flinn, Bill Rojas and Owen Bevan for their efforts in making the event a most enjoyable and rewarding one. Although the day was quite warm it did not deter our active and loyal member Joe Linnane from wearing an 1840’s mounted troopers uniform to add that special historical touch to the occasion. Many thanks Joe and also to the forty or more Society members and friends who attended.

I would also like to pass on my appreciation to Rex Greig, Tony Woodcock, Rob Thompson, Joe Linnane, Bob Ward and Ernie McLeod who all set up a display at the South Australian Historical Society open day at Elder Park on Sunday 19 November. The Police Historical display was the central feature of the day. Although the temperature during the day was in the high 30’s it did not deter our devoted members from wearing a variety of police uniforms and staffing the display from 8:30   AM to 4:30 PM, after which they then had to remove the display back to Thebarton Barracks. A sincere many thanks.

These activities represent only a small part of the many activities of the Society during the past month. These activities range from working bees, to the varied activities of the Thursday and Vehicle Restoration Groups, to research, merchandising, provision of historical uniforms, film and video restoration, assisting with tours of Thebarton Barracks and to answering many public information requests. These activities are not just refined to November, but continue throughout the year due only to the dedicated commitment of the many Society members.

I am also pleased to report that the Society has received an early Christmas present from the Police Credit Union who has once again supported us with a $1,000 donation towards the restoration of the FJ Holden project. The Society has been supported by the Police Credit Union over many years and their on-going generous support is greatly appreciated.

As the year 2000 comes to a close I would like to sincerely thank all members and friends for  their outstanding support and commitment and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all members and friends a very Merry and Special Christmas and Happy New Year.

On a light note, as I will be the State Police Commander for this year’s New Year eve activities you can all be assured of a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year — I hope!

Do not forget there is no general meeting in January and I look forward to seeing you all at your AGM in February.

John White


Mel and Chris BAKER                                    Barbara PARFIT

Peter BROOK                                                Merge PRESSER

Andrew and Carolyn DALE                             Tony PRICE

Trevor HOFFMANN                                       Charlie and Thelma TREDREA


...we welcome you


A policeman asked to investigate a theft in the community of Iron Range on the remote Cape York Peninsula found that it was the temporarily closed police station that had been taken. The building had been sawn from its stumps and caned away. When the investigating officer made it known around the town that he was not in the least amused by the theft, one of the thieves brought back a police badge and left it on one of the stumps.

  Field Trip




Accompanied by my wife Betty and escorting Joe Linnane, in all his 1850’s finery, we arrived in Eudunda at 11 am, about the same time as our mini bus from barracks pulled up outside the Eudunda Institute Hall.

The organisers of the Colin Thiele 80th birthday celebration performance had allocated plenty of seats for our members, who along with family members, friends, and local folk were welcomed by the MC. We were treated to a great show performed by local school children from three area schools. Commencing with the Eudunda Primary School Choir rendering “I am Australian” and “Advance Australia Fair -Then followed some lively skits by the children based on three of Colin Thiele’s stories.

Two highlights are worth mentioning. Firstly, a Colin Thiele video presentation made for the occasion, as Colin was unable to attend in person due to ill-health. He gave a very interesting account of his childhood in the area, with one of his remarks delighting the audience. (I roughly quote) ‘ As a young boy, I would earn sixpence for rounding up our neighbour’s escaped chickens. I must admit that sometimes when I was very hard up, the chickens somehow got out again.’

Secondly, a local primary schoolboy, Corey Schutz, read a Julia Creek Police Station history report ( Shades of Bob Potts writings in this report.)

Following the show we were all treated to a very nice country style smorgasbord lunch. We were then invited to sign a very large birthday card for Colin Thiele before moving off to the ceremony site at Julia Creek.
Once off the bitumen progress was very slow, led by our Chrysler Royal guided by Ernie McLeod, our cavalcade of cars was swallowed by billowing dust, however we arrived.

The ceremony was attended by 80—100 members, police, and local people.
The ceremony site was well planned by the efforts of Bill Rojas with seating, sound system and rostrum for the speakers. The monument can only be described as perfect for its setting and a credit to the design and building skills of Mr and Mrs Jim and Rhonda Dunstan.

Proceedings began with a brief Welcome and explanation of the proceedings by our MC Owen Bevan. Bob Potts then gave a brief historical account of the Julia Creek Police Station. Bob started by saying (rough quote) “I’m only allowed 6 minutes, any longer and they are going to drag me off.” Bob gave a very interesting talk about the old site.

The unveiling ceremony was then jointly performed by our President John White and Councillor Denis Keller, Chairman, Regional Council of Goyder.
To end a perfect day, tea and coffee, cool drinks and goodies at the Homestead supplied by Jim and Rhonda Dunstan, who invited visitors to look at their lovely sprawling terraced garden, with some of their artwork displayed throughout the garden.

The day was a credit to our members who organised the program.

1842  Julia Creek Police Station  1846

Policing in South Australia began on 28th April 1838 with the swearing in of an Inspector of Police with 10 mounted and 10 foot constables. This was the first centrally controlled police force in Australia; The overlanding of sheep and cattle from New South Wales saw the expansion of the frontiers of settlements north and west of Adelaide. Police personnel were often at the forefront of that expansion, in some instances acting as explorers, but also to protect pastoralists. In the interests of settlers and travellers, the Commissioners of Police at the time established Police Posts. Julia Creek Police Station was established in late 1842 by Mounted Constable James McLean to provide protection for pastoralists, shepherds and flocks.

The Julia Creek Police Station was the first permanent mounted police post north east of Gawler. It was established well before permanent police stations at Burra, Kapunda or Angaston and there was no other police presence further to the north east at the time. It is believed to have been a small stone building. Julia Creek Police Station was staffed by two mounted constables (troopers) with the personnel being rotated on a six monthly deployment basis. A Native Constable was attached to the station for guide purposes during some of its existence. The police station was issued with three horses. The duties were to patrol to the various pastoral stations on the River Light, Burra Creek and Mt. Bryan. Julia Creek Police Station provided a base for mounted police patrols at least as far as from present day Keyneton to Mt. Bryan.

This police station was operating well before each of the now recognised towns of the district including Kapunda, Eudunda, Burra and Morgan were established and at the time was quite isolated. There were no recognised roads, and the only form of communication would have been by letter delivered by horse and rider. In 1846 the S.A. Mining Association applied to the Commissioner of Police to establish a police station at Burra Burra Mines. Nearly a year after the opening of the mines at Burra Burra, the Julia Creek Police Station was closed in October 1846 and the personnel and stores were removed to open a police station at the rapidly expanding mines.

The mounted constables of Julia Creek, some of whom were Troopers McLean, Dawson, Eastwood, Carter, Pow, Lamb and McMahon, kept journals of their patrols and activities while at the station, which is of great importance to the early history of South Australia and the South Australia Police.

This site and the Information about the Julia Creek Police Station would not have been found without the tireless work of Mrs Esther Flinn and Chief Superintendent (Retired) R.J.Potts, APM, JP, of the S.A. Police Historical Society.

Extract from the Register, 4th November 1905

So much is heard and seen of the criminal work of the police force that one is apt to forget the spectacular side. From the point of view of discipline and physical equipment and patriotism it is equally important. It is a mistake to suppose that a love for dignity of appearance and display is confined to the military. The men in blue do not neglect the “showy” aspect of the business. What some people might regard as professional conceit is after all only a form of pride which is pardonable because it is essential. The periodical parade of the metropolitan police is always worth witnessing, and every effort is made by the Commissioner [Col. Madley] and his officers to impart to the spectacle an imposing significance.

The turnout of Friday morning was a fine one. Well knit, of powerful physique, smartly uniformed, and splendidly drilled, the men did not fail to win affection, and the citizens were probably surprised that such a large body should be necessary to protect a city famous for its wealth of churches.
The numerical strength of the procession must have acted like a tonic to the timorous householder, besides giving an appreciable sense of security to business people. First, the picturesque troopers — 16 of them on their snowy-white horses, which pranced along the thoroughfares with a strong suggestion of conscious dignity. A lady spectator said she could love them — they were so human. Then 18 odd cyclists, with machines polished like a 90 guinea piano. After them the bandsmen, playing all the more vigorously because of pay day; and following the instrumentalists, 98 foot police — a mass of dark blue walking with mechanical accuracy.

At the Barracks a large crowd had gathered to witness the movements. Although in some details the drill was faulty, the general execution was capital, and there was evidence of skilled tuition and intelligent application. The cyclists began operations with a simple riding exercise, but nothing so artistic as would probably be demanded in a pursuit race with a gang of offenders. A wag suggested that the men should be taught trick performances of the Tivoli pattern, so that they could adapt themselves to possible difficulties — riding on one wheel, for instance or “hanging on", in seemingly impossible attitudes.
The feature of the display was, of course, the horses, which manoeuvred with delightful grace. The intelligence manifested by the white-coated, happy-looking animals was a revelation to most of the spectators, and if it had been decorous the various movements would have been heartily applauded.

The foot police gave a good account of themselves in the physical drill, and the demonstration throughout was worthy of the force; and that is as high a compliment that could be paid to the men. Col. Madley, who made a minute inspection of the ranks, was accompanied by the Military Commandant [Col. Wallack. C.B.] and the Chief Staff Officer [Lieut. — Col. Reade, C.B.]. Inspector Raymond was in charge of the troopers, Inspector Burchell and Sub-Inspector Edwards commanded the foot men, and Cpl. Allen led the cyclists.


Part 2.

Port Rickaby Small port settlement north—
west of Minlaton on Yorke Peninsula.
Thomas Rickaby, early settler in S.A. Arrived SA in 1857 and was a member of mounted police 1857—1865. Station at Goolwa f or substantial period. Became farmer on Yorke Peninsula.
Mckinna Street 
Christie Downs
Suburban Street
near Christies Beach
Police Station and
Div. H.Q.
Believed to have been named after John Gilbert McKinna (M, renowned Ccmrnissioner of Police, when the land was subdivided and streets named near new Christies Beach Police Station in 1962.
Blyth Street 
Christie Downs
Suburban street near Christies Beach Police Stn and HQ Believed to have been named after
Inspector William ST. Blyth, 0/C
of the newly established Police
Division at Christies Beach in 1962.

Bob Potts.


In 1995 a large signed portrait of Queen Victoria was presented to our Society by the Victoria League of South Australia; a Society for promoting personal friendships throughout the British Commonwealth. That Society was moving office and had no room for the portrait.
It was bequeathed to the Victoria League by Miss Meliora O’Halloran in 1961. This lady was the Aunt of’ Mr. Justice Ross, who understood that the portrait had belonged to his great, great grandfather, Sir Joseph O’Halloran, who had the rarely bestowed honour from Queen Victoria of the G.C.B. ( Grand Cross of the Bath).

Sir Joseph 0’Halloran sent the portrait to his son in South Australia, his son being Major Thomas Shuldam O’Halloran who arrived at Glenelg on November 21st 1838 and who was appointed our first Commissioner of Police in 1840.

The portrait has been cleaned and restored as much as possible. On the back is a somewhat flowery advertisement from ‘~ A. MOLTON” offering wide services as a “carver, gilder, looking glass, and picture frame manufacturer of Flinders Street”.

Diligent work at the State Library by Allan Peters reveals that “ A.MOLTON” operated between the 1870’s and 1890’s, during which time the portrait would have been framed.

The portrait provides a link between our first Commissioner and the present day.

Dorothy Pyatt.


In 1837 wheelbarrows were issued to various watchhouses around Sydney where they were to be used by the police. Their purpose was to convey drunken persons to the lockups. The Sydney Gazette of 1838, writes.

“On Tuesday afternoon a constable in a state of intoxication was observed wheeling a man in a barrow to the watchhouse who was also drunk. Instead of taking the man to the nearest watchhouse, the intoxicated policeman wheeled him over half of Sydney, every now and then capsizing him into the road, to the mirth of the citizens and the gratification of his own drunken propensities.”




MANY THANKS to all those who contributed letters and articles to the HUE & CRY.

These are what make the HUE & CRY interesting and enjoyable for members to read.

I am looking forward to receiving more of the same to include in future issues of the HUE & CRY in the NEW YEAR.

With Best Wishes for Christmas,

and the Year 2000.

Janice Hutchin


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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