Richard Rutledge KANE
( late of Nelson Bay )
New South Wales Police Force
Joined the NSW Police Force via NSW Police Cadet system on 21 January 1954
Cadet # 1081
Regd. # 8577
Rank: NSW Police Cadet – commenced 21 January 1954
Probationary Constable – appointed 19 November 1956
Sergeant 3rd Class – appointed 22 April 1973
Superintendent – appointed 30 March 1988
Chief Superintendent – retired
Stations: ?, Upper Hunter District ( last posting )
Service: From 21 January 1954 to 19 April 1994 = 40+ years Service
Awards: National Medal – granted 17 March 1992
Born: Paddington, NSW – 19 November 1937
Died on: Wednesday 8 July 2015
Funeral date: Thursday 16 July 2015 @ 2.30pm
Funeral location: All Saints Church of England,
29 Tomaree St, Nelson Bay
Buried at: Buried at Anna Bay Lawn Cemetery, Nelson Bay Road, Anna Bay.
Passed away on 8 July 2015
Late of Nelson Bay
Aged 77 years
Family and Friends are invited to attend Rick’s Funeral Service to be held in All Saints Anglican Church, corner of Church and Tomaree Streets, Nelson Bay on Thursday 16th July, 2015 commencing at 2:30pm followed by interment at Anna Bay Lawn Cemetery, Nelson Bay Road, Anna Bay.
Patience wearing thin as residents still without power
By DAN PROUDMAN
THE most destructive storm to ever smash the region’s vital electricity networks could see some residents remain in the dark for most of this week, as community leaders vow to introduce reforms to rid streets of troublesome trees.
As frustrated victims became increasingly stir crazy on Sunday, battered power supplier Ausgrid continued to work on getting the grid back on track after nearly half of the Hunter lost power.
A spokeswoman pleaded for the remaining 22,000 customers still without power a week after the cyclonic storm tore through the region to remain patient, as fears grew that the supply would not be restored to large sections for at least a few more days.
The understanding held by many without connection is being eroded as time passes and they continue to go without essentials whilst counting the cost of being left in the dark.
Former police superintendent Rick Kane, who as a Hunter police chief in the 1990s was in charge of disasters similar to last week’s storm, said he and his elderly wife Esma were struggling to continue in their Nelson Bay home.
They were among nearly 5000 customers on the Tomaree Peninsula, and 9000 in Port Stephens, who were still without power on Sunday.
Ausgrid said late on Sunday night it had restored power to 2000 properties at Nelson Bay and Anna Bay.
Mr Kane said he and his wife counted themselves lucky they had bought a generator a few months ago and it was enough to generate one light and power for cooking and making a cup of tea. But that was it.
‘‘I think this is absolutely bullshit, I am used to disasters and I cannot believe it would hit last Tuesday and we still find ourselves without power or hot water,’’ Mr Kane said.
‘‘If you told me last week that I would wake up at 2.45am, look at the alarm clock and it was out, and the bastard would still be out now, well I would have laughed at you.
‘‘We have had no phones, we have had no one to talk to us about what is going on, I know it is Mother Nature but this is ridiculous.’’
Medowie resident Darrel Slade said his family’s love of the outdoors had helped them, with their faithful camping equipment used to counter the fact they have not been able to shower or cook properly for six days. Mr Slade, who worked as a volunteer in the SES and Rural Fire Service before moving into their new place just two weeks ago, said his wife and three sons were trying to stay patient.
His car had been crushed and a tree remained on his shed.
‘‘No matter how much jumping up and down you do, it won’t quicken things up,’’ Mr Slade said.
‘‘But you can understand why people have had enough. This is a long time to go without power, and people are thinking they are not being looked after. But there is no use strangling each other about it.’’
Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie said he would table a mayoral minute to council to spend $100,000 to set up a system to identify and cut down troublesome trees in streets before they brought down lines.
Mr MacKenzie, who had to collect water for his horses when his Salt Ash property was blacked out, said he believed the clearing of tree debris could have also occurred quicker.
‘‘I sympathise with the old folk; all I had was a radio and a gas cooker down at the feed sheds with horses,’’ he said.
‘‘I have seen first hand the damage that has been done with trees and I think trees and power lines simply don’t mix.
‘‘I think council and Ausgrid need to look at that, there are dangerous trees on council footpaths and … could have cost lives.’’
Ausgrid spokeswoman Philippa Wheeler said the storm caused more damage to the electricity infrastructure across the Hunter than any other weather event, including the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm.
Ausgrid said about half of the Hunter experienced blackouts, and the 135,000 customers in the dark had been reduced to 22,000.
In the process, Ausgrid has received more than 250,000 calls to its hotline.
But the progress could be stalled in areas such as Nelson Bay because the high-voltage issues had been resolved only to leave time-consuming work on low-voltage problems.
‘‘We absolutely understand the frustration in not having electricity for a day, let alone for six days,’’ Ms Wheeler said.
‘‘No one wants to be in that situation and that is why we have called in extra crews.
But there are areas out of our control like weather and flood conditions which can make this a very hard task.’’