2011 Wall to Wall Ride
Diary of the Baton Run
After the success of the 2010 Wall to Wall ride to Canberra, the National Committee and motivators for the event, decided to ‘co-opt’ the magnificent wood turning skills of NSW Superintendent Stan Single to strike commemorative batons for each Policing jurisdiction within Australia. Stan has hand made these batons, and engraved each with the Police emblem for the relevant area. Each baton has been hollowed out and comes apart to reveal a compartment big enough to take a roll of parchment. The thought being that if a member pays the ultimate price between wall to wall rides, their name and details will be inserted in the baton and conveyed to our National memorial by a rider designated by the relevant Commissioner.
On behalf of the National Committee, I can say that we all fervently hoped that each baton would remain empty. Unfortunately, Queensland will be placing two names inside their baton, Acting Sergeant Dan Stiller who died in tragic circumstances while escorting a wide load, and Detective Senior Constable Damien Leeding who was murdered by armed robbers while attempting to arrest them as they fled the scene of their crime. Both Police Officers left behind young families who will forever feel the pain of their lost loved one.
As Police Officers, we swear an oath to serve and protect our communities, we all know that we may one day be asked to pay a terrible price, but we do that willingly. When tragedy strikes as it too often does, we gather together to mourn. At these times, it is heartening to see Police Officers from all jurisdictions stand as one to honour a comrade. But there is more, there is an undercurrent of steely resolve to ensure that loved ones are cared for and lost comrades are never forgotten.
Police Officers from all over our great land contributed via their Police Associations to the formation of the National Police Memorial in Canberra. We have a National Police Remembrance Day when the whole community can gather to honour our fallen heroes. But we have also now created the “Wall to Wall” ride or event when Police Officers, their families and friends can gather to remember their mates, make a pilgrimage from their home States/Territories memorials, to the National memorial. The event is designed to raise monies for Police Legacies – the organisations that look after those left behind through financial, welfare and moral support.
The wonderful batons will add to the event.
On Thursday the 7th of July, National Chairman, Inspector Brian Rix from Victoria, accompanied by Senior Constable Georg Berk will collect the batons from Superintendent Stan Single and deliver them to each Commissioner or their representative. The ride is symbolic by demonstrating the common bond we all share. While the task of riding around the country is not an easy one, this small hardship is nothing compared to the hardships and sacrifices our members make to keep our communities safe all hours of the day and night.
Brian and Georg commenced their ride from Melbourne, you can follow their journey on the wall to wall website under ‘baton run’.