Veterans gather at the Railway Hotel Wangaratta

This humble looking group of people once struck panic into the hearts of criminals, investigated numerous suicides, held the hands of dying accident victims, delivered bad news, were assaulted, abused and fought toe to toe with drunken thugs.

Veterans from around Victoria gathered at the Railway Hotel Wangaratta on the weekend to meet old colleagues and make new friendships. With hundreds of years of experience between them, these retired Police had some amazing and frightening stories to tell about their time in “the job”.

The comradeship continues well beyond retirement and is a bond only few understand. They don’t easily open up to strangers however once you say “I was in the job” the tales begin. It’s great therapy for all concerned.

The unwanted distressing memories of traumatic events are not often spoken about over the dinner table with family or at the local golf club with civilians. They don’t disappear upon retirement and are usually suppressed by some, however social events such as these allow the exchange of experiences with people who have all been in similar situations. Some were apprehensive about attending at first however it didn’t take long for them to loosen up and enjoy the day. Some Police Veterans feel isolated in a similar way to veterans of war, after all. many were at war for up to 40 years.

Everyone left the event pleased and delighted with the experience and are looking forward to the next one. John Conolan arranged the get together and Publican Greg Brown provided an amazing and delicious BBQ banquet.

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