Officer loses battle with cancer
BYRON Bay has lost one of its longest serving and most respected police officers.
Murray Powell, who worked as a sergeant at the Byron Bay Police Station for 25 years, died this week after a short battle with cancer. He was 57.
Mr Powell reluctantly retired from the job three months ago after being diagnosed in May with pancreatic cancer.
He had notched up 40 years service to the NSW police force and had been hoping to continue for another few years.
"I still love it and after 40 years I loved the lifestyle and camaraderie of the job," he told the Northern Star late last year.
Mr Powell's dedication to the job earned him great respect from his colleagues, who rallied to support him and his family - wife Petria and eight children - following his diagnosis.
His workmates raised enough money for the family to enjoy a holiday in Cairns, and also helped with his ongoing medical expenses.
Sergeant Jack Keough, who worked with Mr Powell for the past 25 years, described him as a "fine police officer".
"He contributed significantly to the policing of Byron Bay," he said.
"He was a great colleague and well respected by all his work mates."
Facebook tributes to Mr Powell, or "Muzza", as he was known, described him as a "pretty cool guy".
"A good man for so many reasons and will be sadly missed."
A funeral service will be held for Mr Powell at St Kevin's Catholic Church, Bangalow this Wednesday at 10am.
The Tweed/Byron Local Area Command will provide a Guard of Honour at the church at the completion of the service.