Tear­ful trib­ute for Wendy Wrigley and co-work­ers

Rotorua Daily Post - - OUR PEOPLE - Alice Guy

At a Ro­torua ser­vice to hon­our fallen po­lice staff, spe­cial trib­ute was paid to one staff mem­ber who made a con­tri­bu­tion to the Ro­torua po­lice big­ger than she ever knew.

Po­lice Re­mem­brance Day is held ev­ery year on Septem­ber 29 to hon­our po­lice staff who have been slain or died as a re­sult of their du­ties as well as serv­ing, re­tired and for­mer po­lice staff who have died in the past 12 months.

Ro­torua’s ser­vice, one of many held around the coun­try, took place in the Ro­torua Lakes Coun­cil cham­ber yesterday.

Bay of Plenty Dis­trict Com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Andy McGre­gor said the day was a time for po­lice to re­mem­ber and re­flect.

“To­day we think about the con­tri­bu­tion of all of these peo­ple who have made their com­mu­ni­ties safer.”

A roll call was read of the 32 po­lice and traf­fic of­fi­cers who were slain while on duty in the past 126 years.

Among those re­mem­bered were traf­fic of­fi­cer John Ke­hoe, who was fa­tally shot near Whakata¯ne on Jan­uary 31, 1949, traf­fic of­fi­cer Robin Dud­ding who was shot dead near Ro­torua on April 7, 1986, af­ter be­ing kid­napped at Lake Ro­toiti, and Con­sta­ble Lester Stretch who was fa­tally in­jured while at­tempt­ing to ar­rest a sus­pected bur­glar in Man­gakino on May 26, 1999.

It was with tears in her eyes that Sergeant Lea Framp read the names of the serv­ing New Zealand Po­lice em­ploy­ees who died dur­ing in the past year.

She burst into tears when she came to the last name on the list, her mum, Wendy Wrigley.

Wrigley joined the New Zealand Po­lice in 1984, work­ing at the Po­lice Col­lege in Welling­ton, but in 1987 her young fam­ily moved to Ro­torua.

Wendy quickly proved her worth, work­ing for a num­ber of Area Com­man­ders over the years in­clud­ing Don Hamil­ton, Trevor Beat­son, Ray Sut­ton, Mike Bush, Bruce Horne and most re­cently Anaru Pe­whairangi.

She died ear­lier this month, fol­low­ing a short bat­tle with can­cer.

Framp wore a can­cer rib­bon on her col­lar and had the op­por­tu­nity to light a can­dle of re­mem­brance with her dad by her side.

“She would prob­a­bly be re­ally hum­bled by this and wouldn’t have wanted any of it.

“The fu­neral was amaz­ing and I think she prob­a­bly never would have re­alised the im­pact she had on so many peo­ple.”

McGre­gor said it was fan­tas­tic Wrigley’s hus­band and daugh­ter could be there for the cer­e­mony.

“To­day was a chance to re­flect on the con­tri­bu­tion Wendy made, in par­tic­u­lar, to the Ro­torua com­mu­nity.”

He said when he was in the of­fice, he still ex­pected to see her walk­ing past in “those red shoes”.

“It is a great loss.”

PHOTO / STEPHEN PARKER

Ro­torua area com­man­der In­spec­tor Anaru Pe­whairangi sup­ports Sergeant Lea Framp as she reads her mother’s name at the Po­lice Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice.

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