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New South Wales Police Force



Freeman’s Journal ( Sydney )  Saturday  14 October 1899  page 12 of 28



No. 4 Division as it is officially phrased, but more popularly known as St. Patrick’s Parish, is in imminent danger of losing that fame so obligingly but unmeritably thrust upon it by a section of the press as the abode of ” the Rocks Push. ” Leaving out Parliamentary and Municipal elections, the chief public gatherings of the past two years have been those in which the people have spontaneously risen to give voice to generous recognition of deserving police officers leaving them either through retirement or well-merited promotion. This big hearted recognition of duty well done by members of a Force which watches over them night and day has been characteristic of this end of the city from the time when Inspector Anderson was promoted out of their midst to the present ; and that it is creditable to the citizenship of a law-abiding, peace-loving people, who will deny?

Recently, after a service of 26 years in the district, Senior-Sergeant John McDonald was promoted to a Sub-Inspectorship and the charge of Paddington district, and that a long service marked by a faithful performance of his duty was not lost upon the residents of No. 4 Division was proved by the fact that Mr. P. Nolan (who usually acts as secretary of such movements) was immediately requisitioned to receive the nucleus of a fund to fittingly entertain Inspector McDonald on his departure. The outcome was a valedictory presentation on Thursday last in the Federation Hall, Church Hill, in which upwards of 120 residents, ladies and gentlemen, took part. Refreshments were laid in true banqueting style, and it was during a lull in these proceedings that the presentation was made.

Alderman R. G. Watkins presided, and there were present amongst others : Mr. W. J. Spruson, M.P., Aldermen P. F. Hart and G. Smail, W. O. Healy, J. P., Very Rev. P. LeRennetel, E. O’Farrell, P. Nolan, J. Kilbeg. C. J. Morrissey, J. Keane, T. J. Purcell, J. Lynch, A. Ryan, G. Humphries, T. J. McMahon, T. O’Neill, W. Gunther, P. McManus.

The chairman called upon Mr. W. J. Spruson, M.P., to make the presentation on behalf of the residents.

Mr. Spruson said it afforded him the keenest pleasure to be associated with a movement such as that to honour a deserving public servant. An occasion like the present served not only to credit the district and to honour the man, but to show the authorities that in promoting men like Inspector McDonald they had the full approval of the people amongst whom their duty was cast. He then read the following address:-

” To Sub-Inspector John McDonald. Dear Sir, — Your promotion, to the rank of Sub-Inspector of Police and your transfer to the district of Paddington provide a fitting opportunity for an expression of the high regard in which you are held by those who have known you during your 26 years’ service in No. 4 Division of Sydney. An unstained record of 30 years’ service — a commendable, deliberate, and cautious method in the rigorous yet dutiful discharge of duty — and the frankness and fearlessness of character’ displayed alike in your official capacity and personal relations, which have earned for you a substantial recognition at the hands of your superiors, merit the warmest acknowledgment from your fellow-citizens. We trust that a capable discharge of the duties of your new position, and a continued display of those estimable qualities which have characterized your career in the past, will pave the way for further advancement, and retain for you that official and popular approbation which is the best reward of faithful service. (Signed— W. J. Spruson, P. F. Hart, R. G. Watkins, Virgoe, Son, and Chapman, Thomas Playfair, Patrick Keane, W. Owen Healy, T. J. McMahon, W. W. Aitkin, J. M. Stevens, B. Byrnes, J. A. O’Shea, M. Finnan, A. B. Holmes, James Inglis and Co., P. Le Rennetel, Geo. E. Smail, P. Nolan, John Keane, R. J. Lukie, Robt. Miller, John Bridge and Co., Ltd., James Dugan, John Smith, E. Resch, Rodolph Tudor, J. Lynch and Co., C. F. Cullen, D. A. Kenna and Co., D. A. Renard and Co., Ryall and Son.) ”

Mr. Spruson then presented the address, accompanied by a valuable gold watch (suitably inscribed), albert, and locket.

The address is a beautiful specimen of illumination in morocco portfolio form, beautified by touches of scenery about that portion of Port Jackson which has been the neighbourhood of his duty. The cover bears an elaborate monogram.

Sub-Inspector McDonald (who rose amidst enthusiastic applause) said he could not affect to feel anything but moved by the demonstration of esteem which marked his departure from the district in which he had served so long. Such a recognition of duty could not but prove an incentive to further devotion to the service with which he was indentified. His only regret was that his promotion entailed his severance from a district where he had so long served, and where had his wishes been consulted he would have served to the end. One thing he could assure them — that he would endeavour to prove that the confidence of the people of No. 4 Division was not misplaced ; and the handsome present they had just given him, as well as the warm feelings they expressed, would be regarded by him as long as he lived, and after him by his children, as something to be proud of. (Loud applause )

The toast of Sub-Inspector McDonald’s health   and future success was proposed by Aldermen Watkins, Hart, and Smail, Father Le Rennetel, Mr. W. O. Healy, and Mr. E. O’Farrell.

In honour of the presence of a number of ladies their health was briefly but warmly moved by Mr. T. O’Neill, and enthusiastically received. Mr. J. J. Keenan suitably responded. Mrs. McDonald was presented with several rich and costly gifts.

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