Bruce Frederick COOPER

Bruce Frederick COOPER

AKA  Coops
Late of  ?, Qld

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ?????

Rank?

Stations?, Sydney District HWP ( mid 1990’s ), St George / Sutherland HWP

Service – NSWPFFrom  ? ? ?  to  ? ? ? = 10 years Service

 

Queensland Police Force

Regd. # ?????

Rank?

Stations?

Service – QPolFrom  ? ? ?  to  ? ? 2008 = 10 years Service

Total Police Service:  20 years

 

Awards:  No find on Australian Honours

Born:   Thursday  1 May 1958

Died on:   Saturday  21 April 2018

Age:  59 years, 11 months, 20 days

Cause:   Chronic PTSD – Suicide – Firearm

Event location:   ?, Qld

Event date:  Saturday  21 April 2018

Funeral date:   Tuesday  1 May 2018 @ 10.30am

Funeral location:   Mt Thompson Memorial Gardens and Crematorium – East Chapel
329 Nursery Road, Holland Park

Funeral Parlour:  ?

Buried at:   Cremated

 Memorial located at:   ?

 

Bruce COOPER

BRUCE is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance  * BUT SHOULD BE


Bruce Frederick COOPER

 Funeral location



FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

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May they forever Rest In Peace


On behalf of Bruce’s sons, Simon, Joshua, Paul and Myself we would like to invite you to Bruce’s funeral to celebrate his life with us.

Tuesday 1st May 2018 at 10.30am

Mt Thompson Memorial Gardens and Crematorium – East Chapel
329 Nursery Road, Holland Park.


Post from Mark Kelly, Director Blue HOPE

 

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Bruce Cooper who tragically died by suicide on the morning of Saturday, 21 April 2018.

He was 59 years old.

A 20-year veteran police officer, Bruce served with pride for 10 years with the NSW Police Force and another 10 years with the Queensland Police Service before leaving the job in 2008.

Policing took its toll on Bruce. He struggled with chronic PTSD for a long time and, like many who struggle with PTSD, Bruce tried to numb the pain with alcohol. Bruce was a fighter though; he fought his way back and had control over alcohol for a long time. The nightmares, painful memories and horrific images however, would not relent.

I first met Bruce in 2016, when he hit a hurdle and relapsed. His amazing wife Michelle reached out and we decided together that I would drop by to say G’day. I arrived unannounced and met a man who was in immense pain and struggling badly. At first, he was reluctant to talk so we just sat together watching television while he sized me up out of the corner of his eye.

Trusting people was hard for Bruce. He’d been let down many times in his life and aside from a couple of close friends and his family, he didn’t easily let people in. He was also a fixer; a man of great skill who could build and repair just about anything he turned his mind to. Cars, trucks, motorbikes, things around the house. You name it, Bruce could fix it.

Sadly, when it came to his own demons, Bruce couldn’t find a fix and he was reluctant to ask for, or accept help. So needless to say, he was a bit cross at me and Michelle when I showed up that day.

[blockquote]He was also embarrassed and as he told me later, “bloody ashamed”.[/blockquote]

We didn’t speak much at first. I’d share a bit and he’d open up a little bit and after a while the rapport that so often occurs between coppers started to build. Bruce was still wary though. He was also embarrassed and as he told me later, “bloody ashamed”. It’s hard to admit that you’re not ok and it can be even harder to admit that you need help. Eventually though, Bruce started to talk. We talked about his life, his sons, his grandchildren and his love for Michelle (his “Shelle Machine”). We talked about cars, motorbikes and eventually we started to talk about the job. That was hard for Bruce. He had seen and experienced a lot as a police officer. Police see some awful things, but I think Bruce got more than his share.

So, we sat together for hours; hours became days and thankfully, in time Bruce got some help. He entered a treatment program and was placed into the care of some great mental health professionals. Bruce and I became friendly, talking and texting occasionally. He’d often tease me about the day we met and the blue shoes I was wearing that day. He was a funny bugger. He seemed to be doing pretty well and, in the Winter of 2017, he and Michelle came to a Blue HOPE car show to say Hi. We hugged, and I was struck by how well he looked. He had spark and it seemed that the future looked pretty bright.

[blockquote]“It’s too fucking hard”, “It hurts so much”[/blockquote]

Unfortunately, towards the end of 2017, Bruce relapsed after a death in the family. I called in to see him and was shocked to see how much pain he was in. The Bruce I knew was still there, but the demons had resurfaced and taken hold. Everyone who knew and loved Bruce was rallying around him to encourage him to get back into treatment, but he didn’t want to go. “It’s too fucking hard”, “It hurts so much”, he told me. His pain was unfathomable. He wanted to get better. He wanted to beat PTSD. He wanted the nightmares and images to go away. He wanted to help others. Bruce had so much to offer the world but first he needed to get help.

We all had countless conversations about options and eventually, Bruce started to attend his appointments again. After a rough few weeks things were starting to look up. We spoke from time to time, I’d see him on social media and he’s touch base regularly via text, signing off with his traditional gorilla emoji. He seemed ok; but he wasn’t.

During the morning of Saturday 21 April, I received a call from Michelle saying that Bruce was in crisis; asking if I could come. He had somehow come into the possession of an old firearm and was talking about hurting himself. The police were immediately called, and I raced over to offer what assistance I could.

When I arrived, police, ambulance and tactical units were in attendance, all carefully positioned out of Bruce’s view. Thankfully, I was allowed through the cordon to speak with the police in command, provide a briefing to the negotiators and most importantly provide support for Michelle. I did not have the opportunity to speak with Bruce. Sadly, before anybody could make contact with him, Bruce took his life.

It’s important that I thank the members of the Queensland Police and the QLD Ambulance who were present. The QPS negotiation team in particular were incredibly professional, caring and supportive to all present. All emergency services personnel present should be commended for their incredible efforts to save Bruce.

To Bruce… Coops, I’m sad and I’m angry but I’m also thankful that you are no longer in pain. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more. For what it’s worth, I’m a better man for having known you. Rest well mate.

Finally, to everyone who is reading this.

If you are struggling, know this. Recovery starts and ends with you. You might have all the help in the world at your fingertips but unless you accept responsibility for your own recovery and surrender yourself to the healing process, recovery will elude you. It’s not enough to just show up for appointments; you have to get your hands dirty and do the hard work. This can mean going to hospital, accepting psychiatric and psychological treatment, taking the meds and persisting with recovery groups. Don’t just turn up. Engage with it. Your life depends on it.

Yes, it will be a grind. In fact, it will seem unbearable at times but all of the people that I know who are doing well (myself included) know that this is the only path. It’s hard and it’ll take time but it’s worth it. Not only for you, but for your family.

No police officer I have ever met was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of being a coward. If you were strong once, you can be strong again. I promise you that it can be OK.

Blue HOPE stands ready to help.

Thanks for taking the time to read about this terrific man.

Mark Kelly
Director
Blue HOPE
mark@bluehope.org.au


 

Two years on:

Today we remember Bruce Cooper who died by suicide on this day 2 years ago in Brisbane.

Indelibly marked by trauma in his early life, Bruce channelled his life experience into something better; joining the NSW Police Force where he served for 10 years before moving to Queensland where he served a further 10 years with the Queensland Police Service.

I first met Bruce briefly in 2002, when we were both in the job, but our paths didn’t cross again until 14 years later when his wife Michelle re-introduced us during his struggle with trauma, PTSD and alcohol addiction. After a while, we became good friends and the next couple of years were a mix of happiness, hope, sadness and frustration as Bruce improved in clinical programs, only to relapse sometime later. He did his best, but trauma and addiction had their hooks in him. He had so much love and support in his life. Honestly, if love and support alone could have saved him, Bruce would still be alive today.

I wish it was that simple.

Despite the efforts of those who loved him and tried to help, Bruce lost his battle. Many people worked so hard to save Bruce that awful day. We waited nearby, as incredible members from the QPS tried valiantly to reach out to him; we tried to help them with as much information that we could provide …. we prayed and we waited. We honestly thought that he would be recovered safely but that wasn’t to be. We all failed to get through…. and Bruce took his life. The rest is indescribable, so I won’t try. It wasn’t really Bruce in that moment; it was his pain, his trauma and his addiction that took him away. He loved us and we loved him, and we live in hope that he is now in a better, more peaceful place.

Today, Michelle and I visited Bruce at his resting place. We sat and we chatted. We reflected on his life and we thought about the meaning that this tragedy can have for others. What can we learn?

What I know is this. When you are faced with the impossible, the pain and the struggle you have to decide what is important. You have to decide what kind of person you are. All the support and love in the world can be available to you, but you have to make the choice to accept it and engage with it. Taking your life, ultimately robs the world of your potential to be more. You have so much to give, even if you don’t realise that now. Ask yourself, “What will my legacy be?”

Most importantly, suicide leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. When I look at my dear friend Michelle, I see an amazing woman who is trying to rebuild her life as best she can; in her own way, in her own time, and on her terms. Grief permeates every aspect of life, but I know she will prevail. As CS Lewis wrote, “Her loss was like the sky; spread over everything.” I was honoured to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with Michelle late last year so I know she can do anything. She is an incredible person.

I asked Michelle today, what she thought about trying to help someone who is struggling. She said very simply, “reach in and keep reaching in. It will be frustrating. Sometimes you will hate them, and they will often give you the shits, but you’ve got to keep trying.” She is not one to give up and I am immensely proud of her.

I have mixed feelings about Facebook posts about the death of police members. They are often polarising. Some people appreciate them and others dislike them. Today though, I write in the hope that someone, somewhere will draw strength to continue. It’s not too late. Two years ago, when I wrote about Bruce I said, “you have to get your hands dirty and do the hard work”. That remains true. So much help and support is available; you just have to accept it and commit to getting better for yourself and your loved ones. It will be hard and often unbearable, but it is worth it. The decision is yours and yours alone.

I apologise for the lengthy post and I appreciate you taking the time to join me in reflecting on the life of Bruce and all of the brothers and sisters we have lost to suicide. If you know someone who has lost a family member or friend to suicide, reach out to them today and tell them that you are thinking of them.

If you know someone who is struggling, “reach in, and keep reaching in”.

Their life may depend upon it.

Mark Kelly – Blue HOPE
21 April 2020





Thomas Edward BACON

Thomas Edward BACON

Late of  ?

Unknown Australian Police Force

Regd. #

Rank?

Stations: ?

ServiceFrom  ? ? ?  to  ? ? ? = ? years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born? ? 1935 – 36

Died on? November 2017

Age:  82

Cause:  Suicide – firearm – .38 Smith & Wesson – to the throat

Event location:   Bang Khun Thian, Ekachai Soi 88, Bangkok

Event date:   ?

Funeral date? ? ?

Funeral location?

Buried at?

 Memorial located at?

Crime Scene

 

[alert_blue]THOMAS is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_blue]*NOT JOB RELATED

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 Funeral location TBA

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FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

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May they forever Rest In Peace

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Retired Aussie policeman shot himself because he “didn’t want to be a burden”

Retired Aussie policeman shot himself because he “didn’t want to be a burden”

Bang Khun Thian police were called to a condominium in Ekachai Soi 88 in Bangkok on Saturday after reports that a foreigner had shot himself.

In the sixth floor room on a bed they found 82 year old Thomas Edward Bacon (name transliterated from Thai) with a single gunshot wound to the throat from a .38 gun.

On a table was a suicide note. It read: “I don’t want to be a burden for anyone to look after”.

The victim’s wife Thanakorn Lomrat, 54, who owns the condominium, said that her husband was a former policeman. He came to Thailand twenty years ago but his health had deteriorated and he had many illnesses.

Recently he had suffered diabetes that had affected his eyesight and was barely able to walk.

The body was sent for autopsy and the embassy have been informed.

Source: Daily News

https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/1012114-retired-aussie-policeman-shot-himself-because-he-didnt-want-to-be-a-burden/

https://www.samuitimes.com/retired-aussie-policeman-shot-didnt-want-burden/

 

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Bert Watson CARTWRIGHT

Bert Watson CARTWRIGHT

aka  Ben

Late of Lightning Ridge

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. #  ????

Rank:  Constable

Stations: ?, Lightning ( Hill ) Ridge – Death

ServiceFrom  ? ? 1916  to  3 December 1919 = 3 years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born? ? 1892?

Died on:  Wednesday  3 December 1919 @ 11pm

Age:  27

Cause:  Suicide – Firearm – Committed

Coroner Findings:  Suicide while temporarily insane

Event location:  near Wombat Rd, 13 miles from Young, NSW

Event date:  Wednesday  3 December 1919 @ 11pm

Funeral date:  Friday  5 December 1919

Funeral location?

Buried at:  Church of England, Young

 Memorial located at?

 

 

[alert_yellow]BERT is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow]  *NEED MORE INFO


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FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

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May they forever Rest In Peace

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Lithgow Mercury (NSW : 1898 – 1954), Wednesday 10 December 1919, page 2


A CONSTABLE’S HEALTH.

and his last invitation.

When several men in an hotel ( the Rose & Crown ) at Young were drinking the health of Constable Cartwright, he replied, ” I will bet you £5 I will be dead before any of you. If this gun cartridge will not finish me this revolver will. I invite you all to my funeral.” Later in the night the body of Cartwright was found on the Wombat-road with his brains blown out.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/218611064
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Young Witness (NSW : 1915 – 1923), Tuesday 9 December 1919, page 2


Bert Cartwright’s Death

CORONIAL INQUEST.

The Coroner, Mr. G. S. Whiteman conducted an inquest this morning concerning the death of Bert Watson Cartwright, constable of police, who was found on the Wombat road on the night of December 3rd with his brains blown out, and a double barrelled gun beside him.

Formal evidence of the finding of the body was given by Constable Auld.

George Eastley, a gardener, residing at Spring Creek, said that he had known Bert Cartwright since childhood, and had always been on friendly terms with him. At a few minutes past seven on the evening of December 3rd, deceased had come to his home. He behaved in a peculiar manner, was staring about, and kept looking at his watch. At times he talked quite sensibly. After having a cup of tea he asked for his gun at 7.30 p.m. and announced his intention of going to town alone, but witness insisted on going part of the way with him. Deceased had been shooting rabbits in the locality, and had left the gun in witness’ keeping about three weeks before. Deceased shook hands with Mr. Punt, Mrs. Eastley and Miss Eastley, and as he reached the door said

“THIS IS THE LAST GOODBYE”

As he and witness walked along the road together, deceased said ” I’m going to shoot myself tonight.” Witness replied. ” Don’t talk so foolishly,” but he insisted, ” It must be done tonight.” Both sat down and for an hour witness tried to reason with him, but he repeated, ” It must be done tonight.” When he made an effort to get the gun as they moved off, deceased said, ” You can’t get the gun, and if you did I’ve got a loaded revolver.” After a hundred yards he became excited and looked fierce. He took the gun out and ran into the scrub. Witness could not catch him, so returned home,and went a quarter of a mile for the assistance of his son. Both went to Mr. Bailey’s, and word came through by Mr. W. Eastley that Cartwright had returned to witness’ residence. Witness hurried back and found Bert Cartwright with the loaded gun in his hands and eventually persuaded him to come in and have a cup of coffee and some cake. Again he became restless, would stare, and kept pulling out his watch. At ten thirty witness asked him to stay the night, but he persisted in going. Witness asked him to come tomorrow, but he would not promise. Neither would he promise to go to the pictures next night. Both men walked a few hundred yards along the road when deceased ordered witness to go back. Witness appealed to him to think of his sister and brothers and not to take his life. As they continued, witness asked him for a loan of the gun, but he refused. Then he rushed ahead, put the gun cleaner and the case on a post, stared at witness for a full minute, made a cigarette and lit it. Then he rushed up to witness, and staring at him, said, ” You know nothing. ” He took up the cleaner and case again, shook witness’ right hand, said

” GOOD BYE, OLD FELLOW, GOOD LUCK. “

and rushing away, called out, ” It will all be over before you get home ” Witness could not catch him and walked homewards. Having gone 100 yards, witness heard the report of a gun, and hastening home, got Mr. Punt to accompany him to the place whence the gunshot came.

They found Bert Cartwright dead on the side of the main road, in the shade of a bush. The gun was beside him. Mr. Punt waited while witness went to telephone to the police, who arrived about an hour later, and removed the body. Witness had asked deceased several times to explain his trouble, but the invariable reply would be. ” It is too late. ” Having known deceased all his life, witness believed him to be a temperate, steady young man. Generally speaking, deceased’s actions at ordinary times showed that he was not quite right in his mind. Witness believed that his troubles were imaginary.

Richard Punt, laborer, of Spring Creek, gave evidence of deceased having had one drink on the date of the fatality. He corroborated the evidence of the previous witness.

Mrs. Castledine, proprietress of the Rose and Crown Hotel, said that deceased was having a few drinks at the hotel on the afternoon of December 3rd, and when the other men wished him good luck, he said, ” I’ll bet you £5 I’m dead before any of you. If I don’t do it with this (a cartridge), I’ll do it with this (a revolver). Will you all come to the funeral?” Deceased stayed at the hotel for tea. He said that he was in trouble, but would not explain what the trouble was.

Mr. O. W. Cartwright, father of the deceased, deposed that his son was 27 years of age, and had been a member of the police force for three years. He was a single man stationed at Lightning Ridge, and did not wish to go back. His mother’s death, which took place two and a half years ago, had played on his mind.

Sergeant Wood deposed that he had received communication from the Police Department that the deceased was sober and trustworthy.

A verdict of suicide while temporarily insane wast recorded.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/122437984
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Young Witness (NSW : 1915 – 1923), Friday 5 December 1919, page 2


Shooting Fatality.

CONSTABLE CARTWRIGHT FOUND DEAD.

The report of a gun was heard near the Wombat road, about 13 miles from Young at about 11 o’clock on Wednesday night. Hurrying to the spot, Messrs Geo. Eastley and Potts found the dead body of Bert Watson Cartwright. A sporting gun ( double barrelled ) was near the body. The deceased man’s head was badly mutilated, obviously by a shot from the gun which, on examination, was seen to have just been discharged. Death must have been instantaneous.

Personal troubles had been known to have been a source of much worry to the deceased, who was a constable of police stationed at Lightning Hill, but at the time was visiting his relatives at Young on a holiday.

He had called for the gun, which had been left at Mr. G. Eastley‘s house, and had said that it was his intention to end it all. Mr. Eastley‘s attempts to dissuade him were of no avail.

The profoundest sympathy of many residents who have known Ben Cartwright from boyhood, are expressed for his bereaved relatives.

An inquest into the cause of the death will be held on Tuesday.

The interment was made in the Church of England cemetery to-day,

Rev. S. A. T. Champion officiating at the grave.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/122437824

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Young Witness (NSW : 1915 – 1923), Tuesday 20 June 1916, page 2


POLICE EXAM.

Mr. Bert Cartwright, son of Mr. O W. Cartwright, J.P., has been successful in passing an examination for entry into the mounted police force. Mr Cartwright was successfully coached by Mr. D. Perks at his evening school. We congratulate both teacher and pupil.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/113629153

 

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Young Chronicle (NSW : 1902 – 1910; 1913 – 1915; 1924 – 1934; 1936 – 1940), Tuesday 20 July 1915, page 2


A Revolver Shot

Mr. Bert. Cartwright, son of Mr. O. W Cartwright, met with an accident at his home on Sunday which might easily have been attended with more serious consequences. He.appears to have been extracting some bullets from a revolver, when he got his finger on the trigger and the weapon went off. Portion of his left hand was over the muzzle and the bullet went right through it. The fleshy part of the palm was punctured, just outside the bone connecting the little finger, but fortunately the bone was missed and the flesh only was wounded.

http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/236960448

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Raymond John McNISH

Raymond John McNISH ( Jnr )

aka  Ray

Original headingUnknown MALE VicPol member – suicide 1

VicPol Academy Squad 7 of 2004

Victoria Police Force

Regd. #   34557

Rank:  Commenced at Victorian Police Academy on 14 June 2004

Probationary Constable – appointed 29 October 2004

Leading Senior Constable

Stations?, Campaspe region, Swan Hill, Echuca – death

ServiceFrom  14 June 2004  to  8 February 2016 = 11 years Service

Awards:  No find on It’s An Honour

Born:  5 May 1965

Died on:  8 February 2016 @ home in Moama, NSW

Cause:  Depression – Suicide – firearm to head ( non police issue )

( Ray was struggling with his Depression & had an appointment arranged for the day after his suicide )

Age:  50

Funeral date:  Friday  19 February 2016 @ 10am

Funeral location:  Dungula Events Centre, 69 Dungula Way, Echuca – Moama

Buried at:  Cremated

Wake:  Dungula Function Centre

 Memorial at?

Senior Constable Raymond John McNISH

About 1000 people attended the funeral of policeman Ray McNish in Echuca – Moama on Friday. A huge cortege started outside the Echuca police station in Dickson St, led by mounted police, a lone piper and with Victorian police chief commissioner Graham Ashton taking the salute as the hearse passed through an honour guard of uniformed and plain clothes officers. The service was held at Dungula Function Centre to accommodate the massive crowd. Full story on pages 4 and 5.
About 1000 people attended the funeral of policeman Ray McNish in Echuca – Moama on Friday. A huge cortege started outside the Echuca police station in Dickson St, led by mounted police, a lone piper and with Victorian police chief commissioner Graham Ashton taking the salute as the hearse passed through an honour guard of uniformed and plain clothes officers. The service was held at Dungula Function Centre to accommodate the massive crowd. Full story on pages 4 and 5.

[alert_yellow]RAY is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance[/alert_yellow]  *NEED MORE INFO

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FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

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Grieving widow says her policeman husband’s death was work-related,

takes Victoria Police to court

Posted

Photo: Married couple Wendy and Raymond McNish (Supplied: Wendy McNish)
Photo: Married couple Wendy and Raymond McNish (Supplied: Wendy McNish)

 

A grieving Victorian widow has taken the state’s police to court in an attempt to prove her husband’s suicide was work-related.

Wendy McNish has spoken out for the first-time about the suicide of her husband Raymond McNish at Moama early last year.

The New South Wales Coroner has been examining the case but Mrs McNish has also taken legal action against Victoria Police.

Her lawyer Travis Fewster from Maurice Blackburn said his client was trying to prove Mr McNish’s psychological disturbance came about because of employment stress.

“We will be saying that at the time he took his life, he just did not know where to turn, what to do,” Mr Fewster said.

“It was absolutely work-related,” he said.

Mr Fewster said a medical report from a GP suggested Mr McNish had lost faith in society and was disenchanted.

“We have also got a suicide note that said he could no longer have any fun, he could not laugh and he was not smiling anymore,” he said.

“So we have got those things put together as well as the trauma he saw day and in day out and what we consider is a lack of support from some of the parties involved,” Mr Fewster said.

A country copper

Photo: Senior Constable Ray McNish spent almost 12 years as a police officer. (Supplied: Wendy McNish)
Photo: Senior Constable Ray McNish spent almost 12 years as a police officer. (Supplied: Wendy McNish)

A great country copper was how Wendy McNish described her late husband.

“He was a very diligent, thorough worker and he found he had put his hand up for help and that was not there,” she said.

He took his own life in February last year aged 50.

He was a senior constable based at Echuca in northern Victoria.

Victoria Police rejected Mrs McNish’s initial application for compensation, denying liability in December last year.  Now she has taken on the force and hopes it can make changes to better support staff and their families.

[code]“He felt alone and unsupported within his job,” Mrs McNish said.[/code]

She said she wanted the force to be more open-minded about mental health measures it could implement.

“Anything that helps them to cope with what they are seeing every-time they close their eyes has got to be a benefit and help them be more balanced,” she said.

“I’m not the only one out there that this is happening too,” she said.

“If I can help in any way I can then I will,” she said.

She said Mr McNish was affected by what he saw during his almost 12 years in the force.

Police tackle mental health issues

Victoria Police unveiled its three-year mental health strategy in August, which included a cultural leadership program.

Commissioner Graham Ashton said he wanted the force to do everything to protect, promote and preserve employees’ wellbeing.

Mr Ashton announced last month he was suffering from a fatigue-related illness and was taking sick leave.

At that time, he said he had always encouraged staff to speak up if they were struggling and to seek support as early as possible.

The Police Association, the union representing Victorian officers, said it was looking at how to encourage members facing a stigma to speak up. The secretary Wayne Gatt said he wanted to break down culture that stopped police from seeking help.

[code]”The stress that builds up over a long and challenging career makes for the perfect environment for mental health injuries to take hold,” he said.[/code]

“The Victorian Police has also been strengthening its support services that are available to our members and has the Police Association in terms of physical resources and people we can send out to assist members when they need help.

Wayne Gatt said some members had taken their own lives this year.

“I’ve been to two funerals this year of members who have lost their lives,” he said.

“It’s so critically important that we have adequate ways of providing appropriate diagnosis, delivering appropriate support services and getting help to members as soon as they put their hand up,” he said.

Mrs McNish acknowledged Victoria Police had some focus on mental health but she said she was unsure if it was on the right path.

Photo: Wendy McNish and her lawyer Travis Fewster are taking legal action. (ABC Central Victoria: Stephanie Corsetti)
Photo: Wendy McNish and her lawyer Travis Fewster are taking legal action. (ABC Central Victoria: Stephanie Corsetti)

“For me, I don’t think counselling and psychology is the only answer,” she said.

“I think there is more than one avenue that can be taken with regard to mental health,” Mrs McNish said.

“I look at natural therapies because that’s where I’ve got the main healing and benefits for me,” she said.

She said she just wanted acknowledgement from Victoria Police.

“I think they need to speak with widows and families who have lost and find if there are some common threads in there that we can pull together … so changes can be made in the right direction because like I said, it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario,” she said. Mrs McNish also said treatment options could go further.

[code]”The counselling side of things and the support that is there, is really only just ticking the boxes,” she said.[/code]

She said conversations about suicide were becoming more widespread but there was still work to be done.

“I’ve seen people shy away from me,” Mrs McNish said.

“Even friends of 10 years have crossed the street who are work colleagues of Ray’s, you know that’s disappointing,” she said.

“I don’t want to normalise it, I just want to open the doors so that the conversations can flow and people can be understood,” she said.

“That’s been a real difficult thing for me to understand that people don’t want to or are not prepared to talk about it,” Mrs McNish.

“The more we get it out there, it just makes it easier for people,” she said.

“Sadly I’m not going to be the last one that goes through this,” Mrs McNish said.

“If you can’t open up to people and for them to at least hear you out, it makes it really difficult to move forward,” she said.

Victoria Police said in recent years, it had completed an organisation-wide mental health review and done significant work to improve the culture and support services around mental health.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-13/widow-of-cop-speaks-out-about-suicide/9249808?pfmredir=sm

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Echuca police officer’s widow sues force

by

January 18, 2017

THE widow of an Echuca policeman who took his own life a year ago is suing the Victoria Police.

In a writ lodged in the Country Court Wendy McNish is claiming her husband “sustained personal injury and death” throughout his career, which was caused or contributed to by the force’s breach of duty to him.

Leading Senior Constable McNish had always wanted to be a policeman but did not actually begin his career until he was 39.

Eleven years later he was dead after a career which saw him work in stations around the Campaspe region, in undercover and had been the key investigator in recovering more than $1 million in stolen farming machinery.

The issue of mental health among officers made headlines in February last year after three Victoria Police members committed suicide in the first six weeks of 2016, including Ray McNish.

Now his widow is seeking compensation under the Accident Compensation Act, claiming she was dependent on her husband’s earnings at the time he died.

Mrs McNish is seeking unspecified damages.

The Herald Sun reports today that since 2000 five officers have died in the line of duty – but 19 more have died at their own hand.

In 2006, while based at Swan Hill, Ray McNish was awarded for his efforts in dealing with family violence through “exceptional listening skills, an empathetic approach and thorough investigation of family violence incidents.

The paper said between July 2010 and June 2015 WorkCover accepted 482 mental injury claims from Victoria Police and rejected 500.

It might have been a late start in blue but Dissa was a born copper. He worked in uniform, he worked undercover, even got to mix police work with his other great passion – farming – in a case which saw him help recover more than $1 million worth of stolen agricultural machinery.

But in the end it was most likely the job he loved that in part had failed him — to what extent no-one will ever really know.

Ground down by a depression so dark and so insidious that in the end it would all be more than he could live with.

At the time of his death the Riverine Herald reported Ray McNish was the tangible tip of an unseen iceberg paralysing many of those on our emergency services frontline.

Police, fire fighters, ambulance crews, search and rescue – they’re all vulnerable to the horrors and tragedy to which they are so frequently exposed on our behalf.

And they are committing suicide, or attempting to, in greater numbers, frightening numbers.

Or broken by post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or crushing variations of either/or, baling out of careers they love before they checked out of life – for good.

The ripple effect on families, friends and colleagues spans generations – from victim to their parents, their partners and their children.

These men and women give their all in careers where they are frequently all that stands between society and social chaos.

Yet are forced to haggle, sometimes for years, for the most meagre financial recognition of the load they carry.

Governments of all persuasions are prepared to see them as numbers on a spreadsheet rather than the increasingly irreplaceable assets they are; real people whose very wellbeing – mentally and physically – is being eroded on a daily basis.

And in the end Ray McNish joined a line that sadly is already too long, and threatening to become much longer.

A human tragedy, which in Ray McNish’s case, was played out in tributes and tears at Dungula Function Centre last February.

http://www.riverineherald.com.au/2017/01/18/5484/echuca-police-officers-widow-sues-force

 

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Wife of Echuca cop who died in tragic circumstances sues Victoria Police

Ray McNish's funeral. Picture Lana Murphy/Riverine Herald
Ray McNish’s funeral. Picture Lana Murphy/Riverine Herald

THE wife of a well-loved country cop who died in tragic circumstances a year ago is suing Victoria Police.

Wendy McNish, whose “soulmate”, Leading Senior Constable Ray McNish, 50, died on February 8 last year, accuses the force of breaching its duty to her husband, who took his own life.

In a writ lodged in the County Court, Ms McNish claims her husband “sustained personal injury and death throughout” his career which was caused or contributed to by the force’s breach of duty to him.

Ms McNish is claiming compensation under the Accident Compensation Act, saying she was dependant on her husband’s earnings at the time of his death.

Ms McNish and her lawyer declined to comment on Tuesday. The action is the latest by grieving families of dead police, with the Herald Sun revealing last April that the fiancée of another officer ( Robert John SMITH ) was suing after her partner shot himself at Boronia Police Station with his service firearm after complaining of being bullied and harassed.

Since 2000, five Victoria Police officers have died in the line of duty, but 19 more have died by their own hand.

It is understood Leading Senior Constable McNish’s death did not occur at work or involve a police firearm.

Based at Echuca, he was a popular officer on both sides of the Murray River and was farewelled with a police guard of honour in the presence of Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton.

“No farewells were spoken. No time to say goodbye. You were gone before we knew it. And only God knows why. Forever in our hearts, love you always. Until we meet again. Your suffering is now over”, a family death notice read.

 

Victoria Police officers form a guard of honour at Ray McNish's funeral. Picture Lana Murphy /Riverine Herald
Victoria Police officers form a guard of honour at Ray McNish’s funeral. Picture Lana Murphy /Riverine Herald

In 2006, while based at Swan Hill, then-Senior Constable McNish was awarded for his efforts in dealing with the complex issue of family violence, through his “exceptional listening skills, an empathetic approach and thorough investigation of family violence incidents”.

A colleague from NSW paid tribute to “not only a fellow police officer but a mate & a true loving caring person”.

He posted: “To my very close friend Wendy my heart breaks for you, you & Ray have been true friends to me helping me with my PTSD I just wish I could have known Ray’s pain so I could have been there for Ray.”

Ms McNish is seeking unspecified damages.

A police spokeswoman said the force took the welfare of its employees seriously and had made a priority of addressing mental health issues, including adopting all 39 recommendations from a mental health review last year.

Between July, 2010 and June, 2015 WorkCover accepted 482 mental injury claims from Victoria Police and rejected 500, including 241 resulting from harassment and bullying, 252 for work pressure, 167 sparked by traumatic events and 54 due to occupational violence.

A WorkSafe spokesman said: “WorkSafe is continuing its inquiries into the death of Mr McNish. As such it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Over the past five years, 1037 mental injury claims have been made by Victoria Police members.

A National Coronial Information System report on Intentional self-harm among emergency service personnel in 2015 found that of the of the 62 police suicides in Australia between July 1, 2000, and December 2012, 25 shot themselves — 23 with their service-issued firearm.

A 2015 Victorian Coroners Prevention Unit report into suicide rates among workers in key professions found the annual suicide rate among Victoria police was 10 per 100,000.

If this article causes you distress or if you require help or information, police employees can call Welfare Services confidentially 24 hours 7 days a week on (03) 9247 3344, and other members of the community can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue on 1300 224 636

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/wife-of-echuca-cop-who-died-in-tragic-circumstances-sues-victoria-police/news-story/b41ddde6e45ff3a7e6693d491b9f72f2

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Echuca police pause

The Riverine Herald

22 February 2016

 

Ray McNish waited until he was 39 to fulfil a childhood dream – and become a policeman.

Barely 11 years later about 1000 people, many of them police and former police, alongside family and friends, gathered in Echuca – Moama to attend his funeral.

The man affectionately dubbed Dissa ( as in disarray ) had taken his own life.

He had lived the dream, and he loved the job.  Everyone said so, and they all meant it.

It might have been a late start in blue but Dissa was born copper.  he worked in uniform, he worked undercover, even got to mix police work with his other great passion – farming – in a case which saw him help recover more than $1 million worth of stolen agricultural machinery.

But in the end it was most likely the job he loved that in part had failed him – to what extent no-one will ever really know.

Ground down by a depression so dark and so insidious that in the end it would all be more than he could live with.

A state which, in true Dissa style, he largely kept from those who knew him best, those who loved him most.

Ray McNish is the tangible tip of an unseen iceberg paralysing many of those on our emergency service frontline.

Police, fire fighters, ambulance crews, search and rescue – they’re all vulnerable to the horrors and tragedy to which they are so frequently exposed on hour behalf.

And they are committing suicide, or attempting to, in greater numbers, frightening numbers.

Or broken by post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or crushing variations of either / or, bailing out of careers they love before they check out of life – for good.

The ripple effect on families, friends and colleagues spans generations – from victim to their parents, their partners and their children.

These men and women give their all in careers where they are frequently all that stands between society and social chaos.

Yet are force to haggle, sometimes for years, for the most meagre financial recognition of the load they carry.

Governments of all persuasions are prepared to see them as numbers on a spreadsheet rather than the increasingly irreplaceable assets they are; real people whose very wellbeing – mentally and physically – is being eroded on a daily basis.

And in the end Ray McNish joined a line that sadly is already too long, and threatening to become much longer.

A human tragedy finally played out in tributes and tears at Dungula Function Centre on Friday – and the ripples keep on spreading.

Riverineherald.com .au

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Man to front court accused of farm thefts

Updated

A 55-year-old man has been charged with stealing farm machinery from properties in northern Victoria.

Detectives say they found about $500,000 worth of stolen equipment when they searched five properties in the Bamawm region, south of Echuca, on Tuesday.

Senior Constable Ray McNish says the investigation has been a focus for local police.

“It certainly has. It’s been probably well over 12 months now and it’s still an ongoing investigation at this stage,” he said.

A Bamawm man was arrested and charged with theft and handling stolen goods.

He was released on bail and is due to face the Echuca Magistrates Court in April.

Victorian police have increased their focus on farm thefts in recent months, with the establishment of rural crime taskforce.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-23/man-to-front-court-accused-of-farm-thefts/3846800

 

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Echuca assault accused bailed

A MELBOURNE man who police allege drove to Echuca, bound his father’s partner with duct tape, assaulted her and robbed the house, was granted bail yesterday.Mustafa Hadis, 20, of Meadow Heights, faced the Bendigo Magistrates Court on several charges, including intentionally causing serious injury and theft yesterday.

The court heard Hadis had been estranged from his father since the age of two and had recent attempts at contact rebuffed.

Detective Senior Constable Ray McNish said Hadis had attended his father’s house twice in the week leading up to the attack. The first time he was told his father wished to have no further contact with him, the second his father was not home.  Detective McNish said two days later, on January 18, Hadis and two co-accused attached stolen number plates to a car and again drove to Echuca, parking some distance from the victim’s address. “The victim was home alone in bed and at about 7am was awoken to see Hadis standing outside her bedroom window,” he said. Detective McNish said when the 58-year-old victim went outside to confront Hadis, he grabbed her and tried to pull her back inside, causing her to fall to the ground. He said Hadis then called out for help from his co-accused and they dragged the victim inside where they struck her face and arms with a rubber mallet. “Once inside, the victim’s hands were bound with packing tape, she also had her mouth and head covered to quell her screaming,” Detective McNish said.  He said Hadis and the two co-accused then stole a large amount of jewellery and two mobile phones.  He said the victim feared for her life, especially when one of Hadis’ co-accused took a knife from the kitchen.  “The victim was taken to hospital with injuries to her head requiring stitches, severe swelling to her hand and bruising to her arms and legs,” he said.  Detective McNish said the attack was a “premeditated act” with the men pre-packing the tape, mallet, screwdrivers and gloves. The court heard Hadis made full admissions when later arrested and interviewed by police, saying he felt hurt by his father and “emotionally rejected”.  Hadis’ bail application was opposed by police, but his defence counsel said it was important her client was released as he was the sole carer of his mother.  Hadis was bailed, with strict conditions, to appear at the Bendigo Magistrates Court for a committal mention on April 4.

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/74482/echuca-assault-accused-bailed/

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Police honoured for work in combatting family violence

Release date: Sat 28 October 2006

Last updated: Wed 1 November 2006

Five police members were honoured on Friday for their efforts in dealing with the complex issue of family violence.

The 2006 Excellence in Policing Family Violence Awards were presented by Assistant Commissioner (Region 3) Ken Lay.

The awards are the result of a recommendation from the Region 3 Family Violence Reference Group that police members who excel in their approach in responding to family violence should be recognised.  The Family Violence Reference Group comprises police members and representatives from other government departments and family violence services.

The awards were divided into two categories: Leadership and Practise.

Leadership awards are for members displaying outstanding initiative and leadership, which have positively motivated and influenced others in response to family violence.

Winners of the 2006 Excellence in Policing Family Violence – Leadership awards are:
• Sergeant Phil Nash from Broadmeadows police station for excellence in managing Family Violence Liaison Officer portfolio in an area of high numbers of family violence incidents.
• Constable Donna Rundle from Kyneton police station for outstanding leadership in addressing Family Violence within Macedon Ranges.

Practise awards are for members exhibiting exemplary characteristics that have added significant value to the manner in which police act when responding to family violence.

Winners of the 2006 Excellence in Policing Family Violence – Practise awards are:
• Senior Constable Frank Scopelliti from Tatura police station for a consistently high level of response, outstanding victim support and negotiation skills.
• Senior Constable John Lal from Epping police station for a highly professional and ethical approach, adhering to the principles and policies of the Victoria Police Code of Practice for Investigating Family Violence and consistent referrals to NARTT.
 Senior Constable Ray McNish from Swan Hill police station for exceptional listening skills, an empathetic approach and thorough investigation of family violence incidents.

Assistant Commissioner Ken Lay told forum attendees that family violence affects all communities.

“The unfortunate and stark reality of family violence is that it affects all of our communities”, Mr Lay said.

Assistant Commissioner Ken Lay said that police attendance at incidents of family violence had decreased in Region 3 in the 2005/2006 financial year compared to the 2004/2005 financial year.

He said that in the 2005/2006 financial year police in Region 3 attended 5955 incidents of family violence, compared to the 2004/2005 financial year where police in Region 3 attended 6367 incidents.

“Reporting incidents to the police is the crucial step needed to ensure that victims of family violence are supported and the crime attached to family violence is addressed,” Mr Lay said.

“Although the figures suggest that family violence incidents have decreased, it is still possible that incidents go unreported.  I hope that the example set by all police members in Region 3 nominated for the ‘Excellence in Policing Family Violence’ awards encourages more victims of family violence to seek support.”

Police response to family violence can mean the difference between life and death; about half the homicides in Victoria over recent years have been the result of family violence.

New Victims’ legislation, the ‘Victims’ Charter Act 2006’ comes into effect on Wednesday 1 November.  This legislation will further ensure that all police members deliver a quality service to victims of crime, treating victims with courtesy, respect and dignity.  As part of the Act, police will distribute a new booklet ‘A Victim’s Guide to Support Services and the Criminal Justice System’ to all victims of crime.

Sara McMillan

Media Officer

http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=8992

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Unnamed male who suicided the week pre 11 February 2016.

This officer who died this week was from Echuca police station, but ended his life at a house in Tocumwal, a small town in NSW about 110 kilometres to the north-east.

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Two Victoria Police officers take their own lives in a week

  • Nino Bucci and Cameron Houston

Victoria Police is grappling with the suicides of two officers in a week, as it awaits a high-level review of mental health issues within the force that is expected to recommend an overhaul of support services.

As Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton described the challenge of mental health issues among police as “one of the most important issues” he had to face, the families of the two officers were mourning the sudden losses.

In 41 days this year, two officers and a police employee have taken their lives. It has been almost 10 years since a Victoria Police officer died on duty, according to the Police Association honour roll.

The first officer who died this week was from Echuca police station, but ended his life at a house in Tocumwal, a small town in NSW about 110 kilometres to the north-east.

The other officer( SenCon Paul Anthony BRENNAN ) was from Mordialloc station, and is understood to have taken his own life after being involved in a minor traffic incident in the bayside suburbs on Wednesday night.

Neither officer was on duty at the time of their deaths.

“The death by suicide of a police member is always cause for enormous concern at Victoria Police. Looking after our people is one of our highest priorities,” police spokeswoman Acting Sergeant Melissa Seach said.

“We are heavily committed to improving the mental health support available to all our staff.

“We know that anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress can all be triggered by the stressful situations our people can find themselves in.”

Acting Sergeant Seach said the Victoria Police Mental Health Review would be completed in late March. Mental health experts have been consulted as part of the review.

“Suicide has long been a problem for Victoria Police as it has been across the population in general.

“Victoria Police understands that with improvements in recognising and addressing mental health issues, the incidence of suicide can be reduced and we are committed to doing this.

“The organisation will continue to work … [with] partners such as the Police Association, beyondblue and independent universities to improve our services and ability to break down barriers and help those at risk.”

In October, The Age reported that an officer had taken her own life at a police station, soon after she was deemed fit to carry a service firearm, despite suffering from mental illness.

The leading senior constable( Simone CARROLL ) was a mother of three.

It was also reported that a senior police officer who was charged with murder suffered mental health issues for almost a decade before he allegedly shot and killed a man during a routine intercept in Windsor in 2013.

Senior Constable Tim Baker, 44, allegedly shot Vlado Micetic three times in the chest during the intercept, and claimed he acted in self-defence.

He is believed to have an extensive history of psychiatric problems, raising further concerns about Victoria Police’s handling of mental illness and its policies surrounding access to firearms.

Mr Baker took extended leave on several occasions because of his illness, and was only allowed to resume work after approval from a Victoria Police psychiatrist.

But less than a year before the shooting, it is believed Mr Baker was involved in a serious altercation with another officer that should have set off alarms, according to colleagues of the accused man.

The coroner is also set to investigate the death of a sergeant( Sergeant Martin James VEAL ) who took his own life last June.

It is believed at least five officer deaths are before the coroner. More than 40Victoria Police officers have reportedly committed suicide since 1990.

The force said they would not comment on the circumstances of the officers’ deaths while they were the subject of coronial investigations, including whether they were reviewing access to service weapons.

For support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/two-victoria-police-officers-take-their-own-lives-in-a-week-20160210-gmr0yu.html

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McNISH Raymond John Jnr
VP34557 Age 50 years Of Echuca.
Tragically taken on February 8, 2016.
Dearly loved husband and soulmate to Wendy.
Adored father to Matthew,
father-in-law to Sarah and loving Bop (Pop) to Halle.
Loving only son of Ray and Dot,
brother to Susan and Karen,
brother-in-law to Barry,
uncle to Maddison, Alisha, Laura, Sarsha, Brandan and Danielle.
No farewells were spoken. No time to say goodbye. You were gone before we knew it And only God knows why.
Forever in our hearts, love you always.
Until we meet again.
Your suffering is now over.
Now at Peace
Funeral to be advised.

See later edition of Herald Sun for details.

logo

 

“Thinking of the McNish and extended families at this sad time. RIP Ray.
Stuart & Wendy Jennings,…”

-Wendy Jennings

See more at: http://tributes.bordermail.com.au/obituaries/bordermail-au/obituary.aspx?pid=177687599#sthash.5x2XiXD7.dpuf
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Greg Callander posted a condolence
Today  ( 19 January 2017 )

May you forever be Resting In Peace https://www.australianpolice.com.au/raymond-john-mcnish/

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Missing you every day Gar xxx

Roger Cotton posted a condolence
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dear Wendy , Matt & family, it it with the deepest sadness that we write our condolences to you on the tragic passing of a dear and wonderful person – our friend Ray. It has been some years since we have caught up, but he was always in our mind and hearts and we just picked up where we left off – true friend ! We have fond memories of our friendship and wish you and Matt the strength to carry on. Please if you are in the area, call in and see us, we will miss him dearly – Love from Rene and Roger xoxo

Kirsten Kruse posted a condolence
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sue, Dot and Ray and families, my arms are wrapped around you at this impossibly difficult time. You are in my thoughts and heart. I immediately remember Raymond’s warm, infectious smile. Hold each other tight. Love to you, Kruse xxx

Michelle Wilton posted a condolence
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Be strong today. Was truly shocked and devestated to hear about Ray. Deepest condolences Michelle I hope your at peace now cous. Xo

Bill Casey posted a condolence
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Ray, Dot, Susan and Karen, My sincerest condolences for the passing of Ray. A great bloke who made growing up in Gippsland all the more worthwhile. regards, Bill

jenny casey posted a condolence
Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Ray, Dot, Susan and Karen, and your families, I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Ray’s death. What a bloody waste. My thoughts and mental hugs go out to you at a time when every thing must seem so senseless. If I can’t make it tomorrow, I will be thinking of you all with much love. Regards, Jenny

Simon pearson posted a condolence
Sunday, February 14, 2016

A very good man and a great loss

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