Police Constable 1977 - 1982
I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After leaving Methodist College I briefly worked for P&O Shipping and joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1974. Three years of paramilitary policing was quite enough and Bermuda beckoned with the offer of a five year contract, so off I went, arriving in June 1977, along with Rai Harrison, Chris Cox, Dave Gillespie and Dave King.
After two weeks of localization training, I spent two years at Central, with the obligatory stint as Duty Driver (I recall the call sign as Uniform Two). I then moved to Eastern Division and well remember Peter Giles, Alex Macdonald, Ian Kittle and Vaughan Stovell, as well as the positively Dickensian St George Police Station.
Young PC Don Urquhart
I finished off my five year stint at Operations, with a great 18 month at the MCPS, remembering Pete Shaw, Gerry Lyons, Steve Rollison, Charlie Dorrington and Charlie Mooney.
P.C. Don Urquhart with his MCPS motor cycle
After meeting an English girl named Julie Salisbury, who ‘Spider’ McKenzie once unfairly referred to as a Brassy Blonde from Cox's Hill, we decided to move to Australia in June 1982. Apart from a year in Papua New Guinea working for an Australian mining company, I have been in Australia ever since. I spent ten years as a Fraud Investigator with the telephone company and for the last 17 years I have been working for the New South Wales State Police, where I am currently on the Commissioner's staff as speech writer/advisor
Don and his sister Alison in Sydney, Australia
I will be switching to part-time work in 2012 to complete my journalism degree.
30th April 2017
Don has recently been featured in several reunion photos in our "Keeping in Touch" column while on a visit to the U.K. and he has kindly provided us with an update on this article as follows:-
Carrying on from 2012, I never did finish that journalism degree, too many distractions. I retired from a civilian position in the Commissioners Office in the NSW Police Force in 2015. I have been working on a part time basis since, more 'part' than anything! I have reviewed investigations into alleged misconduct in non-government agencies, worked in a factory for two weeks, filled rubbish skips and delivered advertising flyers! Nor did I ever get married, again too many distractions!
I sold my house in inner Sydney in December 2016 to capitalise on the property boom and sized down to an apartment close by. I travel for three months every year. On this trip, apart from the great Liverpool reunion, well organised by Steve Taylor, I caught up with Gerry Benson, Bob Kinnon and 'Shoes' Needham in Leeds. We had a great night with some good memories and laughs exchanged! I am planning to meet Mike Cheblek and Stuart Donaldson in Manchester in mid May, with a visit to Alex McNaughton. Then it's back to Sydney, with a spot of beach loafing in Lembongan in Indonesia on the way home.
I catch up with Ian Coyles every now and then, Ian is up in Queensland, if any other former officers living in Australia/New Zealand want to put their heads up, please do. Anyone passing through Sydney is welcome to get in touch for a catch up. I know that Gary Osborne, another Northern Ireland boy like me, is in Perth and Stan Hill is in Melbourne. However, Australia is a huge country, Perth is five hours flying time from Sydney.
I often reflect what an interesting journey it has been, from my days in the RUC in the early 1970s to speechwriting in the Commissioners Office in Sydney. I can honestly say that, in all that time, 40 years now, Bermuda was the most fun!
Regards Don Urquhart.