Police mourn popular peer

By Elise Snashall-Woodhams
Updated November 7 2012 - 6:43am, first published December 22 2011 - 11:09am
Sergeant Craig Pearse
Sergeant Craig Pearse

Bendigo and Maryborough police are in mourning after the passing of their admired colleague and friend Sergeant Craig Pearse.The father of two died at home in Maryborough on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack. He was 47.Yesterday officers in Bendigo and Maryborough remembered Sergeant Pearse as a dedicated father, son, brother, police officer, musician and friend, who had time for anyone.Sergeant Pearse served in Bendigo between 1988 and 2009, building many close friendships over that time.Sergeant Tony Kekich worked with Sergeant Pearse when they were both senior constables and Sergeant Kekich said his friend had always gone above and beyond the line of duty to help people.“He would take on quite complex investigations and would follow them methodically to the point of being pedantic just to help the victim,” he said.“He showed a great empathy to the victims of crime.”Sergeant Kekich said he remembered one particular photo of Sergeant Pearse, published about 10 years ago in the Bendigo Advertiser, which encapsulated his friend’s generous spirit.It was an image of Sergeant Pearse helping an elderly lady across the street, taking her arm while blocking traffic in both directions.“That’s the type of man he was,” Sergeant Kekich said.“He always had time for people who needed that extra help.”In 2009 Sergeant Pearse left Bendigo for a promotion in Maryborough where he again drew the esteem of his colleagues.Maryborough Sergeant Ben O’Regan said he was a great friend, even a father figure, to many of his peers.“He was pretty much a rock, a consummate professional, someone who was mentor, someone you could rely on and someone that you knew you could go to with any problem, be it work related or personal, and he would guide you through it in the best possible way,” Sergeant O’Regan said.Sergeant O’Regan said the death had come as a huge shock to the entire Maryborough community, of which Sergeant Pearse was heavily involved.“Personally I thought of him as unstoppable and indestructible,” he said.“He was very friendly, very warm, embracing of everyone, very professional, a real true upstanding policeman and a true friend.”Outside of work Sergeant Pearse was passionate about his family, especially his two sons.Sergeant Kekich said his friend was artistic, too. He made and painted tin soldiers which were bought by enthusiasts worldwide, and he was also an accomplished musician.“He could pick up virtually any instrument and play it,” Sergeant Kekich said.“I don’t think it would be overstating it to say that the Victoria Police have lost a great asset.”A funeral service will be held on Friday, December 30 at 2pm at the Bendigo Baptist Church.

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