As we approach another Blue Ribbon Day we hope that Victorians will take a few moments on September 29th to pause and remember that 159 members of our Police Force have been killed whilst serving and protecting our community.
It also provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the work and dedication of the over 16,000 police members who continue to serve and, as a community, say to them that their work is valued.
Apart from pausing to reflect, there are other ways for Victorians to support Blue Ribbon Day. Badges of Remembrance and other items will be on sale through police stations and retail businesses including all Woolworths Supermarkets.
Memorial Services will be held in Melbourne and regional locations on September 29th so we encourage people to attend those.
A visit to our website www.remember.org.au will show people how to make a donation to the Blue Ribbon Foundation that will assist us to build new and improved emergency facilities in our public hospitals.
We can also do something in our work places or when we attend our service club meetings. Small ways perhaps to remember those who have paid a price beyond measure and raise a few dollars for the Blue Ribbon Day Appeal.
The Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation now has a strong network of 17 Regional Branches around Victoria that are working in their local communities to remember fallen police officers by installing memorial projects in their own hospitals.
The Foundation has funded 46 projects in public hospitals and purchased additional equipment for some that we have funded in years gone by.
In the past year the Blue Ribbon Foundation donated more than $685,000 to Victoria’s hospitals. Recent projects have included an emergency helipad at Portland Hospital, an emergency resuscitation unit at Epworth Hospital in Richmond and an area within the new Intensive Care Unit at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
On 27 September this year we will be dedicating the new Urgent Care Centre at Maryborough Hospital in memory of Senior Constable Maurice Moore who was murdered in that town exactly 30 years ago on 27 September 1986.
Over recent years the Blue Ribbon Foundation has led the Police Graves Restoration Council to audit, rebuild or refurbish the final resting places of a number of police heroes who were killed in the line of duty. This included major work to restore the graves at Mansfield Cemetery of three members – Kennedy, Lonigan & Scanlon, who were murdered by the Kelly gang in 1878.
The Blue Ribbon Foundation hopes to create something positive from events of tragedy in Victoria’s history – remembering lives by saving others.
We are especially grateful to Rotary Clubs around Victoria for their annual recognition of this special day and for the financial contributions you have made in various ways. You have certainly helped to make a difference in the lives of fellow Victorians at a time when they need it most.