She Who Must Be Obeyed has declared that Cassa Creakingbones shall be cleared of all ‘unnecessary paraphernalia.’
Now as a bloke, I’ve absolutely no idea what unnecessary paraphernalia includes so, to be on the safe side, I’ve rummaged through my files and relics of my working life to find anything that may, even remotely, fall within the category of ‘unnecessary paraphernalia.’
After three days of diligent examination and searching I’ve found absolutely nothing that can be discarded. That includes the contents of garages, the workshop and my studio. Everything contained therein is essential to life style maintenance and cannot be discarded during the forthcoming Council Community Clean Up or at any future time.
I should add that my decision has not yet been ratified and may later be rescinded in the interests of peace and harmony.
However there was a positive side to my diligent search. I uncovered some mementos from a 1992 overseas study tour I undertook way back in 1992, researching the causes of juvenile crime and methods of its prevention.
Back in those days it was the custom to exchange some identifying item with the individual or individuals who were assigned to assist you. Often the insignia of our national air carrier QANTAS, “The Flying Kangaroo’ was used but I preferred to give my organisation’s official badge and it was always warmly received.
Translated from the Latin, the NSWP motto means, ‘ Punishment swiftly follows upon crime.’
About 15 years ago, in a moment of misplaced generosity, I gave a collector of police memorabilia quite a large number of items including badges and the like I’d been given during the 1992 tour. Fortunately, the hunt for ‘unnecessary paraphernalia’ has turned up the following pieces from my study tour that fortunately missed out on being given away:
The following three remain from my time in Canada.
The following remain from my time in the United States of America:
My visit to the LAPD Police Academy was a real eye opener and I may complete a further blurb about the place at another time.
Unfortunately, I was never a student at QUANTICO, the famous FBI training college. However I was fortunate to make a fleeting visit there as I passed through Virginia en route to New York City. What an extraordinary academy. Law enforcement the world over could learn a lot from the way QUANTICO operates.
After the States, the next port of call was the United Kingdom. New Scotland Yard was an eye opener as were the other English and Welsh Police Forces visited. Unfortunately only one memento remains:
One of the most surprising section of the tour was France. The relationship between the sworn police officers and their civilian counterparts was absolutely positive. There were clear lines of responsibility and the division between operations and administration was clearly delineated and appeared to work seamlessly. The French police with whom I came into contact went out of their way to demonstrate their effectiveness, reliance on an effective and experienced chain of command and a clear understanding of community expectations. I was fortunate to go on several operations with Detectives and their competence was unquestionable. Fortunately I had an interpreter as my schoolboy French is appalling.
These are my remaining mementos from my time in France:
My visit to the National Highway Patrol’s Headquarters was a revelation in more ways than one. In the Officer’s Mess I had my first, and last, taste of horse meat. This was followed by a thrilling demonstration of motor cycle riding skills, both solo and with sidecar.
One of their well executed tricks was for a number of BMW outfits, each crewed by a rider and two others in the sidecar, to tear around the demonstration area at speed then for the two in the sidecar to climb onto the bike, lean the whole and remove the wheel from the sidecar, all whilst travelling at speed, then replace the wheel and continue as if nothing had occurred. Great to see.
All together I was away for a little over three months and came back bristling with great ideas and expectations.
Did anything ever eventuate from the lengthy report I submitted upon my return. Like most bureaucracies, the wheels revolved slowly and sometimes for no apparent reason changed into reverse, only to regain forward momentum when some external stiumli was applied.
I retired two years after my submission and I’ve no idea what took place after that.
Do I lie awake wondering what might have been?
I’ll leave you to guess the answer to the question.
Hoo roo for now.