Ex-Police Cadets
Association of NSW

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David Noel DURANTDavid Noel DURANT
David Noel DURANT
Cadet ID: 1830
Association ID: 64

At the tender age of 15 and having just completed my Intermediate Certificate, I was fortunate to be selected to commence training as a Cadet in the NSW Police Force on 26 February 1963.


As I reflect now, it was a daunting experience arriving at the Bourke Street Barracks and being greeted by Sergeants Brickell, Hall, Shiels and others.  However, as time progressed, it was a beneficial and rewarding 3½ years and a wonderful foundation for a police career which was to continue for another 30 years.


Being sworn in by Commissioner Allan in his office on 1 August 1966 (I was the second last of Class 107) was the commencement of a fantastic era of policing in my life.  Initially, I was stationed at Kingsgrove on general duties and was extremely happy. However, due to my age, I was required to register for National Service due to the conflict in South Vietnam. As things do happen, after serving 3½ years as a police cadet, the Army wanted me.  Somewhat distraught, at the time enjoying my police career, playing first grade hockey for St. George and actively involved in surf lifesaving, I was at my lowest and feeling, “Why me?”.


Two years goes quickly, and my life was back to normal, particularly after 12 months in South Vietnam.  Back at Kingsgrove and not much had changed.  Having enjoyed good results in my Secondary Training and Constable 1st Class examinations, specialized interests were extended in various Branches of the Force.


Having has the opportunity as a Cadet and working on a 6 month rotational basis in most areas of policing, I decided to apply for Licensing Duties.  To my surprise, in November 1971, I was transferred to that Section at Kogarah Police Station.


This was the commencement of a wonderful 26 year period where I had the opportunity of achieving complete job satisfaction. Whilst completing my duties to the best of my abilities, I was afforded the opportunity of meeting, working and, at times, socialized with a great array of people, some famous and some basic down-to-earth individuals.


I was boarded out medically unfit in 1997, fifty years of age, living at Caringbah with no trade, and only policing on my resume.  My wife and I had a common interest in horses and a desire to explore the rural style of life.  Initially, we thought a property of 10 to 15 acres would suffice. We commenced exploring the prospects around Camden as we were both basically city people.  However, nothing was found suitable, so we decided to try south.  Berry and surrounds were too expensive, then down to Nowra – nothing! Then further south, we discovered a property at Wandandian.  Seventy five acres, further away from Sydney, however, it was absolutely brilliant.  Then all the legal matters, trying to raise the finance and the red tape!  Perseverance paid off and on 8 January 1998, we moved into our new abode and definitely a new lifestyle.


The property known as “HappyValley” had been utilized over the years for dairy produce.  Down came the barbed wire fences and up went the more protective post and rail which were, naturally, painted white.  Horse sheds were built, stables erected, including feed sheds and, of course, a round yard.


Ten years later, we now have 25 horses of various breeds and sizes. In addition, there are some 15 head of beef cattle, from which we breed and sell their vealers each year.


My wife, Paula, is a registered breeder of miniature ponies and has enjoyed enormous success at our local Shows over the past 5 or 6 years. There are 12 little ones with two more due any day now.


About 5 years ago, I became a registered breeder of thoroughbred horses of which we have three on the ground and a fourth due soon.  The oldest we call “Star” born 3-11-04, which has been syndicated and his racing name is “Sondestar”.  He is a 3 year old bay gelding and was due to commence training with PaulCaveat Warwick Farm in August 2007.  However, the Equine Influenza Virus arrived and he remains at our farm.


The second named “Little Deb” was born on 10-10-05, a 2 year old, bay filly and yet to be broken in.  Again, the EI virus has delayed this process.  She is yet to be syndicated and registered with the Thoroughbred Racing Board.


The third is a female named “Skye”, a chestnut yearling and a full sister of “Sondestar”.  I am quietly confident that she has the makings of becoming something special.


Whilst this breeding provides us with a great deal of personal satisfaction, it is also very expensive, particularly with the present cost of produce.  My main goal in life now is to produce a thoroughbred which was born and raised on our property to eventually win a race in the city.


I wish to thank the members of the committee of the ExPolice Cadets Association for this wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past and, hopefully, provide some success in the future.  As they say – “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.