Superintendent Ron Van Saane with Darryl Hawker in December 2013
Superintendent Ron Van Saane with Darryl Hawker in December 2013 Queensland Police Service

Rocky police's Guard of Honour for mate at funeral

HE DEDICATED 10 years volunteering for the Queensland Police Service, completing 6419 hours of work, and yesterday, his friends in blue said goodbye.

Darryl Hawker, who received an award last month for his contribution at the Rockhampton Station as a Volunteer in Policing.

His funeral, which was held at the East Chapel of the Rockhampton Crematorium yesterday, was attended by many police officers including Superintendent Ron Van Saane.

Rockhampton Crime Prevention Unit's Senior Constable Tanya Shield said QPS officers formed a Guard of Honour at the funeral and helped carry out his coffin.

Mr Hawker first joined the QPS as a Volunteer in Policing (VIP), in August 2006.

He attending a Neighbourhood Watch meeting about 10 years ago where he met Queensland Police Service's Rockhampton Crime Prevention Unit's Sergeant Jodie Fernie.

Volunteers in Policing in Rokchampton - (back) Michael Burke, Neil Harvey, Greta Brady, Darryl, Noel Baxter.(front) Marj Bergman, John Weir, Tim McSweeney.
Volunteers in Policing in Rokchampton - (back) Michael Burke, Neil Harvey, Greta Brady, Darryl, Noel Baxter.(front) Marj Bergman, John Weir, Tim McSweeney. Queensland Police Service

On November 16, Mr Hawker received the Recognition of Service award for his dedication volunteering his time to help QPS officers at the Rockhampton station.

"He was there five days a week,” Sgt Fernie said.

"He just filled in all the gaps.”

She said Mr Hawker was one of the region's main drivers of the Neighbourhood Watch program and even won an award.

Sgt Fernie said he conducted community lectures and created packages that went out to businesses about crime prevention tips and other matters.

VIPs offer valuable support to police officers by carrying out a range of voluntary tasks that assist police programs.

Mr Hawker took on the role of VIP Coordinator and as a result he acquired the title of 'Inspector' by the other volunteers.

Darryl was also involved in Neighbourhood Watch for a number of years. He won the Neighbourhood Watch District person of the year in 2009. Even after his resignation from Neighbourhood Watch Darryl continued to volunteer his time with the group.

Darryl completed a total of 6419 hours of VIP work at the Rockhampton station. This equates to 160 weeks or a smidge over three years.

Snr Constable Shield said we felt very proud during our recent police medals ceremony in November when Darryl was presented with a Shield by our Assistant Commissioner for his ten years of volunteer service.

"The number one thing that stands out about Darryl for us was his character,” she said.

"He was always a warm, giving, considerate man, who has a place in our hearts and someone we will always consider a dear friend.”

The Eulogy read by Sgt Fernie at Darryl's funeral:

Paul Willian's once said, 'Every act of kindness is a little bit of love we leave behind'. If this is true Darryl could pave a road of kindness.

My name is Jody Fernie and I had the privilege of working with Darryl for the past ten years both as a Volunteer in Policing and as a Neighbourhood Watch member.

I first met Darryl a little over ten years ago. I was chairing a NHW meeting which Darryl attended. After the meeting I asked him if would be interested in joining the Volunteers in Policing program. Luckily for Rockhampton Police and myself, Darryl applied and I quickly accepted him.

Rain, hail or shine Darryl would come to the station, often beating us into the office. Darryl rapidly became a permanent fixture in our Unit, and was given his own desk, a set of drawers and a window view.

He spoke daily about his loving family and we began to feel like we knew them too. He told many stories about his life with Lesley. In fact, before too long we also knew Lesley's weekly movements. Wednesdays were referred to as 'Church day', this was the day Lesley opened the house to the ladies from the church. Saturdays were garage sale day and we all knew when to Lesley's quarterly spring cleaning rolled around and how Darryl was required to help her. (We're still not sure how much help he gave Lesley!)

Darryl assumed the role of volunteer coordinator and did many tasks within the Unit. As a result he acquired the title of Inspector. Sometimes he was jokingly referred to as 'old man' depending on how much lip he was giving to others in the office. Both Tarn and I are going to miss all the tasks he did and the talks about how he did things when working in the railway.

Darryl would often go out with the other volunteers and drive the car for the day. I think more teasing and playful bantering occurred in the car rather than general conversation and still does today.

On these days Darryl would always return with a smile on his face and happiness in his voice. Occasionally he would relay a tale about how someone was the victim of his teasing and this would be followed by a huge belly laugh.

Darryl was also involved in NHW for a number of years. He won the NHW District person of the year in 2009. Even after his resignation from NHW Darryl continued to volunteer his time with the group.

Darryl completed a total of 6419 hours of volunteer work at the Rockhampton station. This equates to 160 weeks or smidge over 3 years. We felt very proud during our recent police medals ceremony when Darryl was presented with a Shield by our Assistant Commissioner for ten years of volunteer service.

The number one thing which stands out for me with Darryl was his character. He was always a warm, giving, considerate man, who has a place in my heart and someone I will always consider a dear friend.

Thank you.



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