Queensland Retired Police Association Incorporated
HISTORY OF THE QUEENSLAND RETIRED POLICE ASSOCIATION
by Greg Early, State President
Hereunder is a story which first appeared in Brisbane’s ‘Daily Standard’ on Saturday, September 3, 1932:
Retired Police Officers Active Association formed for Mutual Protection
Members of the police in all parts of the State will be interested to learn that the retired members of the force have formed themselves into an association for mutual protection and advantage.
The objectives are: (I) Out to help - by unity and friendship amongst members. (2) To protect ex-members of the police and create a proper spirit of friendship between every man who has ever been in the force. (3) The mutual protection of interests. (4) Social improvement and recreation - by unity and friendship amongst members. (5) Assistance to active members of the force if same should ever be required. All police on superannuation, irrespective of rank, are eligible to join the association, and reports to hand indicate that nearly all the retired officers in Queensland have already joined up.
Committee - An active committee, consisting of the following gentlemen, has been chosen, namely: Ex-Sub-inspectors Bell and Tasker. Ex-Sergeants McCoy, Regan, Dowell and Cameron. Ex-Acting Sergeants Clulow and Lynch; and Ex-Constable John Gunn. Mr N.T. Lynch, of Irving Terrace, Kelvin Grove, has been appointed secretary pro tem, whilst Mr J.K. Cameron is chairman pro tem of the new organisation. During the last month, two general meetings and several committee meetings have been held.
Deputation To Minister. - A deputation constituting of Messrs D. Fowler, E. Conway, M.T. Lynch, W. Takser, J. Wall, and J.K. Cameron waited upon the Home Secretary (Mr E.M. Hanlon) recently for the purpose of placing before the Minister the injustice inflicted upon the retired police through the repudiation of the Superannuation Act by the Moore Government. The deputation was introduced by Mr W.T. King, M.L.A., and the Home Secretary, who was quite sympathetic towards the members of the deputation, intimated that he would place their requests before Cabinet and would convey the decision of his Government to the association in due course.
It is felt that good will result from the deputation, particularly in view of the fact that it has been shown to be morally and ethically wrong for the past Government to break the contract which existed between the police and the with regard to superannuation rights. There are many widows and dependents of superannuated police who are at present almost in necessitous circumstances owing to the "Financial Emergency Act."
This is borne out by many letters received by the acting secretary.
Messages of goodwill have been received from various police organizations throughout the Commonwealth, and it is quite evident that the fledgling Retired Officers Association in this State will not only prosper but will also make a mark of a lasting nature.
The committee of the organization is arranging to have a lecture delivered to association members and friends at an early date, by one or more of the leading lights of the legal profession, many members of which are sons of ex members of the Police Force, and who are prepared to give their services for nothing to help a deserving body of men. The first subject to be lectured upon will probably be "Reasons Why Police Pension Contract Should Not be Broken".
General Meeting. A general meeting will be held on Monday, September 5, when permanent officers and committee will be appointed. The association's report concludes with the following reminder: "The police on active service should bear in mind that the cut in pensions is eventually going to affect each one of them, therefore, the matter should give them food for thought."
This story appeared in the July-August 1988 Journal of the QRPA which was edited by Senior Vice-President at the time, Mat Moran. In the centre of the article are the words SUPERANNUATION WAS A PROBLEM IN 1932 TOO.
While mention is made in the story that ‘during the last month two general meetings and several committee meetings have been held’ and that Mr N T Lynch ‘has been appointed secretary pro tem, while Mr J K Cameron is chairman pro tem of the new organisation’, it is also stated that ‘a general meeting will be held on Monday, September 5, when permanent officers and committee will be appointed’.
I have a cutting from the Brisbane Courier of Thursday July 1933 (the date is not on the cutting) which refers to the first annual general meeting of members of the Queensland Retired Police Association ‘on Monday’ when persons were elected as executive officers for the ensuing year.
With this in mind it could be that the Association was formed in July 1932. However, in the absence of any definite evidence of that, the Association has taken 5 September 1932 as the formation date of the Queensland Retired Police Association. This could always be changed if the actual date of formation is forthcoming.
It is apparent that the previous Moore Government had introduced The Financial Emergency Act of 1931 the effect of which appears to have been to reduce the pensions of retired Police Officers and Police Widows by up to 17.5%.
In the Queensland Police Union Journal of 31 August 1932 most of the above story was reproduced. Also contained in the Journal were excerpts from letters received by the Acting Secretary from retired Police Officers and Police Widows. These excerpts contained strong words against the Government for its actions.