Each year, the 29th September holds a special significance for Police throughout Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Solomon Islands. It is a day for police to pause to honour officers whose lives have been cut short while performing their duty as a police officer. Here on Norfolk Island a Service of Remembrance was held at All Saints Kingston on Tuesday morning, and those who gathered we’re encouraged to remember with thanksgiving those whose lives have been lost in the line of duty, to pray for those who experience their loss most deeply, and to give thanks for those who continue to face danger to ensure the safety of us all.
Church of England Chaplain, Rev. David Fell reminded the congregation that “these officers were not simply Police: they were also someone’s partner, spouse, parent, child or friend. None of those who have died left home on their final day on earth knowing it would be their last. It is difficult to imagine the grief of those left behind, which will be deeply felt on important family occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries. Our hearts go out to those who have been bereaved and we will remember them in our prayers. He then said, “Police officers face risks and dangers in their daily responsibilities in order to ensure the safety of others. We all benefit from their courage, discipline and training and we offer our thanks, especially for those who have lost their lives. Their sacrifices also push us to reflect on our own lives, how we serve and what legacy we would like to leave behind”.
After singing “O Valiant Hearts”, Detective Senior Constable Matt Lee prayed the Police prayer. Sergeant Catherine Tye, Officer-in-Charge, Norfolk Island Police Force then read Psalm 46 and the second hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” was sung. An Occasional Address was then given by His Honour, Gary Hardgrave, Administrator for Norfolk Island before Sergeant Tye read the Honour Roll. The service ended with the Police Ode read by Constable Cheryl Snell, of the Norfolk Island Police Force and an anonymous Police Poem titled “I am” (Remembrance) read by Mr George Smith AM, former Minister for Police.