It comes around every year, but this year’s National Police Remembrance Day was no less important to police stationed at Ballarat.
The service was strikingly similar to previous years, but there’s always one point of difference – the list of police members who died in the past 12 months.
Yesterday, Ballarat police Superintendent Andrew Allen read them out one by one.
Names, ranks, service numbers.
The same list was read out at similar services all over Australia.
The same names, the same ranks, the same service numbers.
About 200 people at St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral paid close attention when those names were read out; many of them watching had their own rank and service number.
Those police in attendance, from Constable to Superintendent and everything in between, took the opportunity to light a candle in memory of those lost in the line of duty.
The day, known as Blue Ribbon Day in Victoria, is also a great time for the Victoria Police Legacy widows to catch up and remember their husbands who served the force in or around Ballarat.
One such widow is Judy Fuller, whose husband Sergeant Roger Fuller is famous in Ballarat for having had just one sick day in nearly 30 years of work.
Mrs Fuller was joined at the service by grandson Chris and said it was always a special day.
“Today is extremely important,” she said. “It’s a day for us and everybody else to remember the work our husbands did and remember the work other police are still doing.
“It gives us a chance to let them know that they’ve got our support.”
Superintendent Allen said it was a significant day on the police calendar.
He said plenty of the senior members of Ballarat’s police force had some sort of connection to high-profile police murders, including those of Gary Silk and Rodney Miller 15 years ago.
“It’s one of those events that you actually remember where you were when you heard the news, because they had such high impact in policing,” he said.