As the sun surely sets,
dawn will see it arise,
for the service above self
demands it’s own prize.
You have fought the good fight,
life’s race has been run,
and peace your reward
for eternity begun.
And we that are left
shall never forget,
rest in peace friend and colleague,
for the sun has now set.
We will remember. Hasten the dawn.
These are the solemn and resounding words of the Police Ode spoken at every Police Remembrance Vigil and Morning Service.
In silence, these words cut across the lives of all present, reminding each police officer and civilian of the mystical presence of all who have given their lives in striving for peace, justice and truth. Each officer and their families know the stark reality of the risk that their choice of career entails. The day of remembrance not only recalls the gallantry of a few but also strengthens the bonds of community and companionship within the police service.
This year, we remembered Senior Constable Dave Masters, who died in the line of duty in 2021 from the Deception Bay Station, then part of the Southern Region. His family unveiled the plaque on the memorial, amongst the 21 candles representing all those who have died in this region, as we stood, resolute, at the front of the Neil Street entrance to the station.
With continuing disbelief and sadness, we called to mind the tragic events of 12 December 2022, where Constables Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow lost their lives. Their plaques will be unveiled at next year’s remembrance service.
As the silence remained and our reflection on the meaning of “with honour they served” found a place within the depths of our being, the lone trumpeter sounds the Requiescant. We are given hope in the promise of the eternal rest for all those who serve.
“I bless you all tonight to go into the world in peace; to be courageous, to hold fast to what is good and to render to no one evil for evil. I bless you tonight to strengthen the faint hearted, to support the weak and help the afflicted; to honour all people and to love and serve the Lord.”