By HARRY CLARKE
A CONCOY of motorcycling enthusiasts from among the Queensland Police Service has revved up their engines ahead of a major expedition planned for September, which will see hundreds of riders from across Australia converge on the nation’s capital in celebration of policing and in honour of those who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Wall to Wall – Ride for Remembrance will this year have special significance for officers from the Western Downs region, where constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold, and civilian Alan Dare, were killed in the shooting attack at Wieambilla.
Fifty officers and friends from as far as Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba gathered at the Miles Police Station on Saturday to “blow out the cobwebs” in preparation for the main ride in September.
In April local officers unveiled a permanent “green therapy” memorial for Constables McCrow and Arnold, which became the meeting point for the warm up ride.
In the words of Miles Senior Constable, Scott Pogan:
Superintendent Peter Flanders of the Roads Policing Group reminded all present of the impacts of the events of the December 12 at Wieambilla, and the effects borne by police not only here in Queensland, but across Australia and beyond, and acknowledged that the Memorial Garden is a place of reflection for many.
The Wall to Wall – Ride for Remembrance is promoted through a national organising committee under the Police Federation of Australia and the National Police Memorial to recognise the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers from all over Australia . The event is fully supported by all the police jurisdictions with every State and Territory represented. Our past rides have been led by the Police Commissioners of the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania, all of whom share the thrills and excitement found only on a motorbike and who are integral role models in demonstrating our message of motorcycling safety and awareness. The ride is open to both serving and retired members (sworn and unsworn) and all other friends, family and proud supporters of policing, and is not only a wonderful commemoration of service and sacrifice , but also a fantastic social event for enthusiastic motor cyclists across Australia in celebration of the police family.
Riders from every state and territory leave their home locations, and ride to Canberra where they meet up at the National Police Memorial for a memorial service held annually for National Police Remembrance Day on the 29th of September. The ride itself serves as a focal point and highlighting the positive image of police in the promotion of motorcycle safety and awareness, with the ride now becoming a much anticipated annual charity event in commemoration of the service and sacrifice of our police and for each State and Territory to raise much needed funds in support of their police charity organisations.
In Wall to Wall style – the riders and visitors gathered and watched as the marked Police bikes led by the QLD Wall to Wall 23 Police Bike led a slow drive-by of the Memorial Garden, before all riders saddled up and rode a slow procession of over 50 bikes of varying makes and models. The Procession wound it’s way around the block, before riding past the Police Station and Memorial Garden acknowledging the sacrifices of the many Police over the years and specifically Constables McCrow and Arnold.