Sgt Brad Donald (left) and Leading Sgt Anthony Smith, both of Ballina police, at yesterday's Remembrance Day service at St Carthages' Cathedral.
Sgt Brad Donald (left) and Leading Sgt Anthony Smith, both of Ballina police, at yesterday's Remembrance Day service at St Carthages' Cathedral. The Northern Star

Police gather in Lismore to honour lost comrades

THE bells rang out from St Carthage's Cathedral in Lismore yesterday as police officers who have died in the past 12 months were remembered by their colleagues and loved ones.

Twelve members of the NSW Police Force were among those remembered from throughout Australasia. Remembrance Day is an annual service that recognises those who have either died in the line of duty or passed away in the previous year.

One of the local officers honoured was Senior Constable Gary Hill, who died on July 20 this year after a series of health battles. He had a dream of visiting Rome and being blessed by the Pope. Although he never made it to Rome, he was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI at the Pope's private retreat in Sydney this year.

“It was a truly wonderful moment for him, as he was a man of great faith,” Superintendent Bruce Lyons, officer-in-charge of the Richmond Local Area Command, said at the service.

Also honoured was General Support Officer Glenis Powell, who Supt Lyons described as 'a stalwart of the family and police organisation'. She died on June 6 after a battle with cancer.

Supt Lyons said the day recognised the courage and strength all police officers had to bring to the job; a job 'fraught with risk and uncertainty' that sees 'the best and worst of humanity'.

“Like a drop in the ocean, the loss of an individual has a ripple effect to the friends, family and colleagues of those around them. I say to our fallen colleagues on this day, you are in our thoughts, but you are forever in our hearts.”

The service was attended by the new Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and the State Member for Lismore Thomas George, as well as past and present police officers and family members.

Attending the service was Kath Yeadon, of Ballina, whose nephew Constable David Carty was killed after he came off duty while serving at Fairfield Police Station in Sydney in 1997. She tries to get to a remembrance service every year 'to remember him and support the police'.

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