Honouring the lives of our police officers
UPDATE: "AND we that are left, shall never forget, rest in peace friend and colleague, for the sun has now set. We will remember them."
With the final words of the Police Ode, communities around the country paused to remember those who gave their own lives selflessly protecting others.
National Police Remembrance Day saw services held throughout the nation and, in Bundaberg, members of the community stood side-by-side with past and present police officers to pay their respects.
Bundaberg Inspector Kev Guteridge said Tuesday's Uniting Church service was a chance to remember those who paid the ultimate price.
"It is a really, really good opportunity for us to actually stop, stand and acknowledge and remember the service of those who have died in the line of duty," he said.
"It also gives us an opportunity to be with the community and to celebrate with them what police have contributed to society and continue to contribute on a daily basis
"We've lost 140 officers since we started in 1861 in Queensland, and that's an enormous indication of the commitment people are prepared to undertake to protect their community.
"This our way of stopping and engaging with the community while we remember together, what those people have sacrificed."
Insp Guteridge said Queensland was an enormous state with 12,000 police officers prepared to go out to work each day.
"In reality they and their loved ones don't really know what the end of the day's going to bring," he said.
"Tragically over a number of years I've lost colleagues, so has everyone in that church here today. They had just gone about doing their daily business and unfortunately hadn't been able to go home to their loved ones.
"We have seen a lot of negative publicity about some members of the police department lately but the relationship between the community and the Queensland Police is, and always will be outstanding, that is what allows us to do our job."
Senior Constable Tracy Graham said she thought of fellow police officers as members of her family and acknowledged the importance of remembering those who died protecting the public.
"I love being a police officer, I find it really rewarding, getting results and locking offenders up. We do deal with a lot of deal with a lot of good people and helping those people out is why I'm a police officer," she said.
During the morning service Constable Alex Hazenberg read a prayer and he said it was a huge honour.
"Me and a couple of the officers were given a chance be a part of the church service and reading the payers was a quite an honour," he said.
Const Hazenberg said it was rewarding to see members of the community show their gratitude for the role every officer played.
EARLIER: POLICE Minister Jo-Ann Miller and Police Commissioner Ian Stewart have today paused to commemorate the 140 Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Minister Miller said National Police Remembrance Day was a time for Queenslanders to reflect on the difficult and dangerous job officers do to keep the community safe right across the state.
"Over the 151 year history of the Queensland Police Service, 140 serving officers have died protecting others," Minister Miller said.
"National Police Remembrance Day is an opportunity for all Queenslanders to reflect on that sacrifice and to show our police how deeply we appreciate everything they do each and every day to keep us safe.
"The memory of our fallen officers is honoured by communities throughout the state and like all Queenslanders, my thoughts today are with the families of those who are no longer with us. With honour they served.
"Fortunately, despite the many dangers our police face daily on our behalf, no officers have died on duty in the past year. I am very grateful for that and I sincerely hope that remains the case next year."
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart acknowledged the tireless work of all QPS members and highlighted the inherent risks faced by police officers every day as they provide for the safety and security of Queenslanders.
"Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, as we honour their memories on National Police Remembrance Day," Commissioner Stewart said.
"The QPS operates 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year; and we have at least 15,000 interactions with the public every day, with each police officer swearing an oath to protect and serve the community.
"There are times however, when no matter how dedicated, committed and courageous our officers are, they face unbeatable odds.
"Police Remembrance Day not only allows us to pay tribute to such officers but it presents an opportunity to recognise the bravery and dedication of past and present officers."
This year marks the anniversary of the deaths of the following police officers, whom we honour and remember:
• 130 years since the death of Constable John Stewart who died from injuries sustained after being kicked by a horse on October 5, 1885;
• 120 years since Constable Thomas Black drowned while moving horses across the Warrego River at Charleville on January 24, 1895;
• 120 years since Constable William Clarke died after accidently discharging his own weapon at Hughenden on October 12, 1895;
• 110 years since Constable Robert Orme died after a riding accident at Southport on December 24, 1905;
• 100 years since Constable William Harris died at Rockhampton after a riding accident near Gracemere on August 24, 1915;
• 40 years since Sergeant 2/c Richard Harris was killed in a traffic incident near Eulo on March 26, 1975;
• 10 years since Senior Constable Sally Urquhart was killed in a plane crash at Lockhart River while on route to Townsville on May 7, 2005;
• 10 years since Senior Constable Christopher Barwise was killed in a motorcycle incident south of Sarina on July 19, 2005.
This year also marks 100 years since the deaths of eight officers who died on active service during the First World War, we remember:
• Constable Patrick Moynihan
• Constable David Bourke
• Constable William Hughes
• Constable John Johnston
• Constable Robert Ritchie
• Constable Phillip Vowles
• Constable Eugene Nugent and
• Constable John Christiansen
Blue ribbons are available from any police station for a small donation and the proceeds will go towards charities, Queensland Police Legacy and Community Supporting Police.
With Honour They Served.