Wingara residents hand over knitted poppies to honour fallen police

Eight residents of the BaptistCare Wingara Hamlet in Springwood handed over 350 blue poppies to honour fallen police officers on September 9.

The "Police Blue" knitted poppies will adorn some 300 police officers, dignitaries and invited guests during a Police Remembrance Day Memorial Service on October 13, that will kick off the National Police AFL championships at Alan Ray Oval, Ainslie Football Club, ACT.

Assistant Police Commissioner Michael Corboy and Sergeant Bradley O'Grady accepted the poppies at special morning tea at the Eastern Creek Highway Patrol Compound.

Assistant Commissioner Corboy expressed "deep gratitude to the ladies for what they had done and how much we appreciate their personal contribution to Police Remembrance Day".

"We are so happy to host the ladies here at Traffic and Highway Patrol headquarters to thank them for their efforts," he said.

It was Sergeant Bradley O'Grady's mother, Betty O'Grady, a Wingara resident, who came up with the idea when discussing the memorial service with her son. With the police blue significant of the well-known uniform, she organised the other women into action.

"My mother, Betty, wanted to contribute in some way to the police and whilst respecting the significance of the red poppies - my father, grandfather and several uncles (all deceased) served in various campaigns from Boer War to Vietnam - she felt that a police "Blue Poppy" might offer some respect to those police who have paid the ultimate price in service to the community," he said.

The full memorial service will be held at the Police Wall of Remembrance, National Police Memorial, Parkes ACT, serve as a prelude to the AFL championships.

"It is not always operationally possible for police from around Australia to be able to travel to Canberra to for the official services for National Remembrance Day on September 29, so it was felt that a supplementary service would be conducted so that those police attending the championships were afforded the opportunity to pay their respects," said Sergeant O'Grady, who co-ordinates the national championships.

The Wingara residents were presented with flowers, a thank you card and a small gift - a commissioned coin commemorating the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command - which is generally presented to visiting dignitaries and guests from around the world.

During their time at the facility they were taken on a short guided tour and introduced to a number of the specialist police officers at the command.