Kenneth David THRIFT Cadet No. 1160
Now why would anyone want to know about my life since the Cadets? Maybe it gives me a chance to reflect where those years have gone.
I joined the Cadets on 18 February 1956 as a shy yokel from the New England country and soon had my life experience changed. What do I remember about those years is –
Brickey, Stewart and Dykes screaming at me for not polishing my shoes each day.
“Father” Jack Hyslop, Cadet Number 27, trying to teach shorthand.
Running around the block at Redfern continually losing wieght but failing old Doc George for being under-weight – should see me now.
Working with some of the most cunning yet effective Detective Sergeants I ever met in my years of Police service.
Working traffic as a uniformed Cadet at Petersham, Marrickville and Leichhardt yet with all that experience, as a Probationary Constable standing in the middle of George Streetdirecting traffic and nearly getting run over by trams.
Can claim fame having played Rugby League with John Raper (even though it was on the oval at Redfern Depot.)
Covering for a certain Station Sergeant whilst he jaunted off across the road to the pub for four hours – in walked the Superintendent (remember them in the 1950s?) and trying to cover for the absent sergeant as a very scared 17 year old. I still remember that day even when I became a Superintendent!
What a time those four years were. So many memories yet so many friendships developed. I miss many but what a pleasure it is to review the list of names in the History.
After being sworn in by Commissioner Colin Delaney on 23 June 1958 I was lucky enough to go back to my cadet station at Petersham. Then one day, went on leave for two weeks – came back to work and the inevitable papers in the pigeon hole – you are transferred to Cootamundra. Where? I had never heard of the place. So off I went in 1959 and, believe it or not, it is where I stayed for 15 years as general duty Inspector Clerk and ended up Acting Divisional Traffic Sergeant. There I met and married my wife of now 47 years, Margaret, and have two girls and one boy, these producing five grandchildren.
In those days, promotion by seniority also meant transfer, so when I became a Sergeant, I got pushed off to the other end of the State to Inverell as Divisional Traffic Sergeant and then Divisional Licensing Sergeant between 1974 and 1982. Again that iniquitous promotion to Senior Sergeant got a transfer – Broken Hill, Armidale or Sydney. Those from the country will remember the many phone calls to and from a certain Adrian Dick at Country Superintendent’s Office – I really got to know and respect that man even for the task he had. However family situations meant Sydney had to be accepted so my family and I moved to Springwood and have lived since in the same home at Springwood. First metropolitan station was Burwood mixed with Five Dock and Drummoyne. The first time I worked with a female member of the service was as Night Officer – never forget her wielding a baton during a brawl and gaining my ever lasting respect. Then in 1984 got a transfer to Blacktown where I remained but progressed through the Officer ranks to Superintendent, Patrol Commander until I retired at the age of 55 in 1994 (stress health made me decide not to go on.). In my time I received a few awards and decorations but the proudest was Blacktown City Citizen of the Year 1962 – a credit mainly to those working with me at Blacktown.
Since retirement, Margaret and I have travelled extensively with only one continent to visit and we are avid caravan travellers through Australia. Several years ago I got bored, did a bit of study and some how passed the exam to become a Personal Taxation Consultant which I still do part time. I am a long time Past Master of the Masonic Lodge, a devoted member of Rotary and still, after 40 years, combat a white golf ball twice a week when I get time.
What did I learn from Bricky? “Honesty will get you anywhere.” It did "