Bendigo set to honour fallen police

This weekend Bendigo will pay tribute to Victoria Police members who died serving our community. 

National Police Remembrance Day, also known as Blue Ribbon Day, will be honoured in Bendigo on Saturday.

Police will march from the old police station in Bull Street and along Pall Mall to the RSL forecourt for the 9am ceremony.

Acting Inspector Dave Collins said this year’s National Police Remembrance Day held special significance for Bendigo.

“It’s huge this year because we have lost two of our local members within the last 12 months,” he said. 

“We lost Gerry Rudkins, our Local Area Commander, and also former long-serving Bendigo Police member, Sergeant Craig Pearse. 

“So it becomes extremely significant, especially locally.”

Acting Inspector Collins said Bendigo was the only place in the state to stick to the traditional Remembrance Day date. 

“Other services are being held on the Friday” he said. “Traditionally it’s always on the 29th but has been changed to the 27th or 28th in other areas because of Grand Final day

“We’ve bought our service forward so it’s a bit earlier, but we’re the only committee that have stayed on the actual day. 

“As a committee we thought it was important to keep it on the same day. 

“It’s the same as ANZAC Day – you don’t change ANZAC Day, do you?”

Frank Eyre, whose son Damian was one of the two constables slain in an ambush in Walsh St, South Yarra, will speak during the service.

Mr Eyre’s son and Constable Steven Tynan were shot dead on October 12, 1988. 

Blue Ribbon Bendigo branch committee member Sandy Gaffee said that members of the community who would like to come and listen to Mr Eyre speak, and to pay their respects for Remembrance Day, were welcome to come along. 

“We’re very honoured to have him come and speak,” Ms Gaffee said. 

A morning tea will be provided at the Shamrock Hotel in Williamson Street at the conclusion of the ceremony.

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