Po­lice and peo­ple hon­oured

The Southland Times - - News - Mary-Jo To­hill Briar Babing­ton

She heard a woman’s screams for help and went to her aid.

If Yvonne McClel­land had not acted to help her, the po­lice would not have caught, ar­rested and im­pris­oned the man who fled the scene af­ter at­tempt­ing to carry out a sex­ual as­sault last year.

McClel­land, along with two other who women who helped pre­vent sui­cide at­tempts in the past year in In­ver­cargill, were awarded New Zealand Po­lice Dis­trict Com­man­der com­men­da­tions at a South­land Area Po­lice Award cer­e­mony held at the In­ver­cargill Work­ing­men’s Club yesterday.

The po­lice com­mended McClel­land for her brav­ery.

While the po­lice put them­selves on the line ev­ery day be­cause it was their job, it was im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who put them­selves in po­ten­tial dan­ger and acted self­lessly to help oth­ers, South­land act­ing area com­man­der In­spec­tor Mike Bow­man said.

He also paid trib­ute to the fam­i­lies of po­lice, many of whom ac­com­pa­nied of­fi­cers re­ceiv­ing awards. ‘‘Polic­ing is a dif­fi­cult role, the stresses and risks are be­yond what nor­mal peo­ple face and the only rea­son that we can con­tinue to do this through the chal­leng­ing times is the sup­port our our fam­ily and friends.’’

South­ern dis­trict com­man­der Su­per­in­ten­dent Paul Basham, who was on hand to give out 16 awards to South­land po­lice of­fi­cers for long ser­vice and com­men­da­tion, said team work was never as im­por­tant for a po­lice of­fi­cer than it was in to­day’s chang­ing world.

The po­lice metaphor, ‘‘Stand at the stern of the waka and feel the spray of the fu­ture bit­ing at your face’’, was never more apt, he said.

‘‘You have to move the waka for­ward as a team, and some of the re­cip­i­ents have been mov­ing that waka for­ward for a long time.’’

The long ser­vice and and good con­duct medal were first in­sti­tuted in 1876 to for­malise the es­tab­lish­ment of a po­lice force in New Zealand, and is now the old­est ser­vice medal in the Com­mon­wealth.

The 14-year re­cip­i­ents were: Lindsay Pea­cock, De­tec­tive Ti­mothy Cook and Sergeant Hay­den McNaught.

The 21-year clasp re­cip­i­ents were: Se­nior con­sta­bles Craig Colyer, Adam Roberts and Jor­dan Edwards, De­tec­tive Matt Wy­att, Sergeant Deon McNaught and Se­nior Sergeant Peter Gra­ham; 35-year clasp re­cip­i­ent Se­nior Con­sta­ble David Loader.

Cer­tifi­cate of ser­vice re­cip­i­ent: Se­nior Con­sta­ble Paul Ware.

Area com­man­ders com­men­da­tion: Se­nior Con­sta­bles Paula Owen, Con­sta­ble Nicky Her­bert, Se­nior con­sta­bles Mar­cus McMa­hon and Gra­ham Par­sons and De­tec­tive Chris Lucy.

I’ll be the first to ad­mit it: I can be pretty ter­ri­ble at shar­ing, at times. If we’re all be­ing hon­est with our­selves, I think we all feel a lit­tle bit like this some­times.

I suppose it’s only nat­u­ral to pro­tect and pre­serve what’s ours, but here’s the thing: shar­ing also needs to be a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of who we are.

If you work hard to­wards some­thing, it’s com­pletely fair to in­dulge and en­joy the fruits of your labour – say you’d been sav­ing up for a new tablet.

You’re not go­ing to come off any worse if you let your partner/ sib­ling/friend/who­ever bor­row the tablet to check their emails.

The phrase ‘‘shar­ing is car­ing’’ might be used in jest most of the time (usu­ally by me), but the mes­sage is fair. To share is to be kind.

I’ve found in life I har­bour more me­mories of the times where I should have shared what I had, rather than not, and those aren’t great me­mories to have.

In one of my more jerk moves as a petu­lant child, I was once asked by a pri­mary school teacher if I owned a pen­cil sharp­ener. I did.

She asked if a fel­low pupil could use it. I said no.

She told me to stop be­ing ridicu­lous and let the pupil bor­row the pen­cil sharp­ener. Quite right, too. It’s been more than 15 years since that in­ter­lude and I still feel guilty about it.

There was no pos­si­ble sce­nario where shar­ing my pen­cil sharp­ener would have cost me in any way. If I’d been less pos­ses­sive about some­thing so triv­ial, I wouldn’t have been told off in front

‘‘I’ve found in life I har­bour more me­mories of the times where I should have shared what I had, rather than not, and those aren’t great me­mories to have.’’

of the en­tire class for es­sen­tially be­ing the most self­ish ver­sion of my­self.

Thank the Lord my par­ents saw fit to add an­other child to the fam­ily, be­cause I’d hate to think what a ter­ri­ble snot of a per­son I might have be­come should my par­ents’ at­ten­tion have solely been on me.

The more we share in what we al­ready have, the more we grow as a per­son, which gen­er­ally just makes us all bet­ter peo­ple. I don’t know about you but I much prefer in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple who have a wider world view than those who live in their own bub­ble.

We live in a world of ev­er­ex­pand­ing ex­cess: cars, clothes, ma­te­rial things, plas­tic. Per­haps in­stead of cre­at­ing ex­cess ‘‘things’’, we could cre­ate ex­cess gen­eros­ity through shar­ing.

I re­mem­ber once be­ing ap­proached on the street as a univer­sity stu­dent by a man in a wheel­chair who was in need of $20 to pay for a taxi to ur­gently get across town. The poor man looked like he was about to have a heart at­tack at the rate he’d been wheel­ing him­self along.

As I handed him the money, he shook my hand and had tears in his eyes. Per­haps he’d been turned down by a few peo­ple al­ready. I was a poor stu­dent, but he clearly needed the $20 more than I did.

Even if I had just been mas­sively conned by some­one who was re­ally good at fak­ing a des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion, he still needed that small green bill more than me if he was will­ing to go to that length to fab­ri­cate a story.

And if the story was true, well then he was ab­so­lutely wellde­serv­ing.

My point is, re­lin­quish­ing our grip on our ‘‘things’’ means the power they have over us less­ened.

To share what we have is to share life with oth­ers and be­come rich in ex­pe­ri­ence and spirit.

Share your Net­flix ac­count, even if your dad con­tin­ues to watch things on your pro­file in­stead of his own, mess­ing up your rec­om­men­da­tions …

So be kind, and share gen­er­ously.

Ex­cept for drink bot­tles and lol­lipops – don’t share those.

New Zealand Po­lice dis­trict com­man­ders com­men­da­tion re­cip­i­ent Yvonne McClel­land with her two grand­chil­dren, Tyler Wak­ing­shaw and Charlee He­garty, both 9, at the Po­lice awards cer­e­mony at In­ver­cargill yesterday. MARY-JO TO­HILL/STUFF

The more we share in what we al­ready have, the more we grow as a per­son, which gen­er­ally just makes us all bet­ter peo­ple.

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