By HARRY CLARKE | SPONSORED
A CONTINGENT of Western Downs police officers will take part in the Queensland Bulls Masters Melon Bash T20, held traditionally on the Thursday of Chinchilla Melon Festival and which will this year honour the region’s two local police officers killed in December.
Officers Peter Reimers from Jandowae Police Station and Col Harvey from Dalby will be joining the host Chinchilla team, while officers Craig Loveland and Justin Drier from Chinchilla will don a Maroon jersey and play for the Bulls Masters alongside the likes of cricketing greats Jimmy Maher, Nathan Reardon and Michael Kasprowicz.
Maher, a former one day international batsman and foundation managing director of the Bulls Masters, said the organisation regularly supported charity initiatives that it would be fitting for the team’s return visit for the Chinchilla Melon Festival Big Bash to honour the region’s fallen police.
Tara-based police constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold, and civilian neighbour Alan Dare, were gunned down by murderous conspiracy theorists on a property south of Chinchilla in December. Chinchilla police Keely Brough and Randall Kirk narrowly escaped the ambush.
“It’s a fundraiser for local cricket and sport and we thought, with the terrible tragedy that happened out there in December, this could be cricket’s opportunity to try and do something locally to raise some money for the Queensland Police Remembrance Fund,” Maher said.
“Cricket is our vehicle, and we use the profile of past players to try and get out to regional areas predominantly and try to make a difference, whether that’s via fundraising or helping to get kids participating in local sport, or via school visits or hospital visits.
“We’re all going to be donning blue ribbons in recognition of the police and the great work they do, and it’s very exciting.
“We’ve always been very well supported in Chinchilla and we’re looking forward to getting back out there. There’s always heaps of kids that seem to really enjoy getting out and enjoying cricket.
“It’s great that a small community like Chinchilla can get behind the event and have a good time and support a good cause.”
The Caller understands Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has been invited as a guest of honour for the event. A QPS spokesman said, as per policy, they could not confirm the commissioner’s schedule ahead time for security reasons.
Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe will also be in attendance.
Money raised from the event will be donated to the Queensland Police Service Remembrance Fund, as well as the Chinchilla Junior Cricket Association.
Peter Reimers, who’s been Jandowae Police Station’s sergeant since moving to the region from Caboolture in 2021, has been a cricket tragic since the age of nine and has played extensively at representative level.
He is yet to join a local club, but said he was proud to be padding up again alongside some of his colleagues for the exhibition match in honour of Constables McCrow and Arnold.
“We’re very much looking forward to the Big Bash, a fundraising event for Rachel and Matthew. To be a part of that is very special and hopefully a lot of people will get behind it,” Reimers said.
“I actually played with Nathan Reardon a long time ago so it will be good to catch up with him again.
“I’ve got three little kids under the age of three so it’s been a bit difficult to commit to a full season recently, but I’m hoping to join a club next year.
“We can’t wait to get out there and be part of this special event on Thursday.”
The Big Bash T20 match will be held at the Chinchilla Rec Grounds on Thursday evening. Gates open at 4pm and proceedings will begin with a kids’ coaching clinic. The main T20 match will begin at 6pm.
Entry is $5 for adults and free for children under 18.
Local team list – CHINCHILLA DISTRICT WATERMELONS
Coby Calleja – Crossroads
Jacob Sommerfeld – Crossroads
Joe Wood – Canaga
James Bidgood – Miles
Henry Sinnamon – Miles
Sam Henningsen – Brigalow
Cameron Burke – Brigalow
Angus Pascoe – Colts/Brigalow
Toby Hartwig – Colts/Canaga
Peter Reimers – Queensland Police
Colin Harvey – Queensland Police