WA Po­lice Legacy there for Lach­lan

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - Re­becca Par­ish

■ Lach­lan Capes knows every­thing about his fa­ther.

But un­like many chil­dren who grow up to learn th­ese things by spend­ing time with their par­ent, Lach­lan learnt by ask­ing ques­tions.

“I don’t re­mem­ber him, I was too young for that,” he said.

“They al­ways say I look like him and I ask them ques­tions and they tell me things … his par­ents and my grand­par­ents.

“I go to see my grand­par­ents ev­ery now and then and when­ever I go we al­ways end up hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion about him.”

Lach­lan Capes was just two years old when the plane his fa­ther was trav­el­ling in crashed on de­scent into New­man.

Lach­lan’s fa­ther was trav­el­ling back from a re­mote com­mu­nity with three of his po­lice col­leagues on Aus­tralia Day in 2001 when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred.

Emer­gency ser­vices spent six hours scour­ing re­mote bush­land be­fore the crash site was found.

A me­mo­rial now marks the fi­nal rest­ing place of Con­sta­ble Gavin Ashley Capes and his col­leagues Se­nior Con­sta­ble Philip Ru­land, First Class Con­sta­ble David De­war and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Don­ald Everett.

Po­lice num­ber 10305 will not only for­ever be etched into the minds of Lach­lan’s fam­ily, but also the minds of the res­i­dents of New­man and the emer­gency ser­vice staff and vol­un­teers who worked to help find the men.

Many of those res­i­dents are still in New­man to­day and wel­come the Capes fam­ily and the fam­i­lies of all the men each year for the Bloody Slow Cup, a rugby match held in the po­lice­men’s hon­our. “I speak to a lot of peo­ple and ev­ery­one just comes up to me and wel­comes me like they have known me for­ever, so it’s like a big sort of fam­ily,” Lach­lan said. “It’s a very close town.” Lach­lan, who has just grad­u­ated from high school, in­tends to join the army.

The 17-year-old is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of not only his fa­ther, but many of his fam­ily mem­bers be­fore him.

“I’ve wanted to be in the army ever since I was a young kid,” he said.

“All my fam­ily have served so I’ve al­ways looked up to my un­cles and stuff for that, and then as I’ve got­ten older I’ve come to re­alise it’s more than a job and a great ser­vice.”

On his path­way to the army, Lach­lan has paid trib­ute to the or­gan­i­sa­tion that has helped his fam­ily since the 2001 tragedy, WA Po­lice Legacy.

Lach­lan said WA Po­lice Legacy had not only fi­nan­cially helped him and his fam­ily, but it had also pro­vided sup­port through­out his life. “Their main pri­or­ity is not to keep you sta­ble in terms of money; it’s to keep you sta­ble in­side of your head,” he said.

“But per­son­ally, to me the sup­port they have given me is a sense of un­der­stand­ing of my ca­reer choice, as in the army.

“They’ve given me the op­por­tu­nity to have some ex­pe­ri­ence of army things, such as orienteering.

“They teach you many things and I ask many ques­tions so they’ve given me that guid­ance and the vi­sion for where I want my life to lead, and they’ve also backed me in that.

“It’s fam­ily. But I re­ally mean that be­cause all your life they do every­thing they can.

“They go out of their way to do any­thing pos­si­ble to help you.”

Lach­lan said he felt an im­mense amount of grat­i­tude to the New­man com­mu­nity.

“Thank you for all the years you have sup­ported me, my fam­ily and the fallen of­fi­cers,” he said.

Lach­lan Capes at the 2015 Bloody Slow Cup me­mo­rial ser­vice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.