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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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6 October, 2020

Longreach Police stop to remember fallen comrades

MEMBERS of the Longreach community paid their respects to fallen police officers during National Police Remembrance Day on September 29.

By Hamish Hart

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Queensland Police were unable to hold annual ceremonies or marches, resulting in the creation of a live-streamed wreath laying ceremony from 10am to honour the bravery and sacrifice of officers across the State.

Longreach Police established a candlelight vigil at Qantas Park on Eagle Street from 8am, with community members and organisations being encouraged to pay their respects.

President of the Longreach RSL Sub-Branch, Gavin Farry, alongside general manager of the community club, Chantelle Smith, paid their respects at the memorial by laying a wreath followed by a one-minute silence.

“It’s really important today to remember these police officers who have given their lives while serving,” Mr Farry said.

“Of significance to the Longreach RSL Sub-Branch, in particular, is that once a lot of Australian Defence Force personnel finish their service, they go on to forge careers and continue to serve communities in positions such as police officers.

“They continue that attitude and service to the community and today is a time to remember those people who served and continue to serve, and who pay the ultimate sacrifice in service of their communities.

“I pay my respects to the police for the day-to-day work they do. It’s becoming more and more dangerous in the areas where they work.

“I would also like to acknowledge Inspector Julia Cook, of the Longreach Patrol Group, and Alan Cook, who is an ex-serviceman who works as a part of the local Stock Squad.”

Mr Farry also acknowledged and remembered Constable Sally Urquhart who passed away following a fatal aeroplane crash during a flight from Bamaga to Cairns on May 7, 2005. The disaster killed 15 passengers.

Insp. Cook said every year a small number of officers were highlighted to honour and to never forget their sacrifice.

This year’s nominated officers were Sergeant First Class Theodore Herman, Constable Robert Alexander, Constable Vincent Hennelly, and Sergeant Dan Stiller.

“National Police Remembrance Day is a chance to pause, reflect and remember the ultimate sacrifices made by those before us,” Insp. Cook said. “We also remember their dedication and commitment to keeping communities near and far safe.

“I would like to thank those who took the time to remember and pay their respects to these officers.”

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