UPDATE 5.33pm: PERCHED atop the casket at June Marie Long’s funeral was a framed number plate.
Customised to bear her initials, the set of plates was a prized possession.
Friends said the policewoman had long feared they would fall into the hands of a hoon.
“We assured her we would not allow that to happen,” former colleague Bob Redwood said.
The news one of the plates had been put into Ms Long’s casket elicited chuckles from the many friends, family members and police officers at the funeral on Tuesday afternoon.
Ms Long, one of Bendigo’s first female police officers, was remembered as a vivacious woman.
She was loyal to her friends, many of whom were lifelong, and actively involved in the community.
In her 88 years, played a leading role in several sporting groups in Bendigo and had a trophy cabinet overflowing with tokens of her achievements.
She was a life member of the Bendigo Ladies Probus Club and had a love of animals.
Other passions included acting and dancing.
Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh, of Victoria Police’s Western Division, said the police force would always hold Ms Long in the highest regard.
The Bendigo stalwart was laid to rest at the Bendigo Lawn Cemetery in Spring Gully.
EARLIER: Current and former police officers and the wider community will on Tuesday farewell the first female police officer stationed in Bendigo.
June Long passed away on November 26, at the age of 88.
Miss Long and her colleague Enid Gollop were the first female officers to work in Bendigo when they were stationed here in 1957.
She was honoured as the special guest at an event in Bendigo celebrating 100 years of women’s service in Victoria Police last month.
A funeral service for Miss Long will be held on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a procession through Bendigo, from Bridge Street to the Bendigo Lawn Cemetery in Spring Gully.
Motorists are advised there may be some short-term delays in Bendigo, particularly in Bridge Street, about 2.30pm.