Mireille Merlet-Shaw

St Carthage's service in memory of fallen police officers

A SPECIAL service for National Police Remembrance Day has been held in Lismore's St Carthage Cathedral to honour those who have died in the line of duty.

The homily was open to the public and delivered by Diocesan Chancellor, and Richmond Local Area Command Chaplain, Reverend Chris Wallace, who was also a former police officer.

Remembrance Day was about "honouring and commemorating those who have passed and to give due recognition to their sacrifice," Deacon Wallace said.

It was also about offering support to the families and friend's who were left to live with the grief of losing a police officer they were close to.

In attendance were the parents and sister of Constable Allan McQueen who was 27-years old when he was twice shot in the chest when trying to apprehend a car thief in 1989.

The McQueen family lives in the Ballina area.

"Our special service at the Cathedral is a time to support one another in our grief, remember the important job our police officers do every day, and thank them for their work," Deacon Wallace said.

The Deacon served as a senior constable and knows first hand how dangerous policing can get.

Duties often involve the use of firearms and other high danger activities like high-speed pursuits. Even a relative simple job like traffic control can put officers into dangerous an unsafe situations everyday he said.

The Deacon noted in his welcome speech that there is a "shared responsibility ...to uphold the law".

Over the last year three officers from the greater region have died - Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson (NSW), Constable Casey Blain (QLD) and Probationary Constable David Opa (PNG).

Remembrance Day is held on the feast day of St Michael the Archangel.

"Since the 7th Century AD, St Michael has been honoured as the patron of soldiers, of those who, by their willingness to risk life and limb, secure the peace and safety of society. It is in this sense that St Michael is also looked to as the universal patron of all police officers," said Deacon Wallace.



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