Police farewell one of their own
SCORES of police officers formed a guard of honour in Barolin Street yesterday to farewell their colleague Sergeant Gary Hill, who passed away last Thursday after a long battle with cancer.
The service at Holy Rosary Catholic Church was packed with hundreds of family, friends and colleagues who gathered to pay their respects to Sgt Hill.
Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, who travelled from Brisbane to take part in the ceremony, described Sgt Hill as “the epitome of what a police officer should be”.
“Gary was one of the finest police officers I have ever had the privilege to have in the Queensland Police Service,” Mr Atkinson said.
“His honesty, commitment, dedication and his compassion were unwavering.”
Mr Atkinson said he got to know Sgt Hill as they met during his medical treatments in Brisbane.
“He showed enormous courage, character and dignity during his battle with cancer, and those are qualities that he displayed throughout his whole life,” he said.
Bundaberg Police Superintendent Anne Macdonald said Sgt Hill was a man of great strength and dignity.
“He was still a serving police officer (when he died), and he did his last shift a month ago,” Supt Macdonald said.
“He was very ill but he still wanted to come to work and serve the community he loved.”
She said it was a privilege to know Sgt Hill and to be able to take part in yesterday's service.
“It was a private service for his family, and for his second family - his police family - to take part in the service was an honour,” Supt Macdonald said.
She said Sgt Hill would be greatly missed by his colleagues.
“With honour he served,” Supt Macdonald said.
Mr Atkinson, Supt Macdonald and a number of other officers took part in the service, which was led by Father Bruce Little and Queensland Police chaplain Reverend Ray Nutley.
Sgt Hill is survived by his wife Michelle, three children Briarna, Luke and Brody, and his mother Nola.