LONG gone are the days when men and women head straight to the police academy from high school.
To be admitted into the NSW Police Force, not only do you need to be fit, able and willing, but you also need to meet academic criteria.
Many new recruits join when they are older and more mature, rather than signing up straight after they finish their HSC exams.
That was the case for Josh Mottee and Andrew Killen, who began their posting at Armidale on Monday.
Constable Mottee, 25, moved here from Cronulla, after doing a trade following high school.
He said he chose Armidale because he had family nearby in Kempsey.
His new colleague, Constable Killen, is married and has three children – all girls – and knows Armidale well, having grown up in Inverell.
The 31-year-old was working as an accountant before he decided to join up.
On their first day, they were welcomed by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, who told them to enjoy their time in Armidale.
Inspector Roger Best said new recruits were good for the station.
“Their enthusiasm can be infectious at times,” he said.
Inspector Best said the two probationary constables would be assigned a “buddy” and would received positive feedback from their senior peers.
“It’s all about making them feel as comfortable as possible so that they can do their jobs to the best of their ability.” he said.
COLLEGE rugby sides St Albert’s and Robb will go into Saturday’s grudge match in good form after gutsy victories on the weekend.
Albies claimed the biggest scalp when they defeated Armidale 28-21 at Bellevue Stadium, while Robb tuned up for the rivalry clash with a tough 13-5 win at Guyra.
St Albert’s coach Tom Newsome said he was rapt to come away with the points against the Blues in a replay of last year’s grand final.
“We had a good game and we’re obviously pretty happy to beat Armidale, who were the form side,” he said.
Newsome said he thought his side played the conditions better than the Blues.
“We went away from our usual running game and played more field position,” he said.
“I thought we were very good defensive.”
The win did not make up for last year’s disappointing grand final loss, Newsome said.
“That’s in the past now. This year were are a completely different side,” he said.
“We are a lot smaller now, but we have different strengths.”
The coach paid tribute to lock Ollie Bartlett, who carried a sore back into the match.
The NSW Country under-20 representative player was a key player in defence and attack.
Other plays to perform for Albies were Travis Saxby, who started at fullback before moving to fly-half, while freshman Jacob Booby played a key role on the wing.
Meanwhile at Guyra, Robb College produced a big win in the cold conditions to pip the Ghosts in a tight contest.
The student side scored early and led throughout in what was a slog.
Robb and St Albert’s go head to head at Bellevue Stadium at 3pm on Saturday, while Armidale and the Barbarians do battle at the same time at Moran Oval.
First grade: St Albert’s College 28 (Richard Edwards 2, Daniel Sweeney, Angus Howard tries; Sweeney 4 goals) d Armidale 21 (John Roberts 2, Dan Ah See tries; Josh Croft 2, Brodie Rigby goals); Robb College 13 (Jackson Strahley, Lachy Fletcher tries; Samuel Platts penalty goal) d Guyra 5 (Soane Vaha’i try).
Second grade: Armidale 17 d St Albert’s College 10; Glen Innes 40 d Robb College 0; Gwydir 43 d Guyra 0.
Third grade: St Albert’s College 8 d Armidale 3; Tamworth Pirates 27 d Robb College 0.
First grade: St Albert’s College 11, Armidale 11, Robb College 4, Barbarians 4, Guyra 0.
Second grade: Armidale 10, St Albert’s College 10, Glen Innes 9, Gwydir 5, Robb College 5, Barbarians 4, Guyra 1.
Third grade: St Albert’s College 9, Armidale 7, Barbarians 5, Pirates 5, Gwydir 5, Robb College 0.
IT TOOK just three minutes for The Armidale School’s senior prefect Benjamin Mulligan to read out the names of the 103 former staff and students who died serving their country.
However, their legacy will live on forever.
Because of school holidays, TAS held its Anzac Day ceremony last Thursday, where around 100 people gathered outside the school’s War Memorial Hall for a solemn service.
The special guest speaker was RAAF Squadron Leader Scott Harris, who graduated from TAS in 1999.
Harris spoke about the importance of Anzac Day and exactly what it meant to those currently serving their country.
“Anzac Day represents to many Australians and New Zealanders the birth of our national identity, a national demeanour which forms the cornerstone of who we are,” he said.
“Having just completed the Kokoda Track this past weekend I have had many hours to ponder the elusive Anzac spirit in the context of the brutal and bloody Kokoda campaign of 1942.
“To me, the Anzac spirit is the embodiment of a set of values forming the core of our psyche, the fundamentals of which were struck into the national consciousness at Gallipoli and reaffirmed over the course of our relatively short history.
“Courage. Sacrifice. Mateship. Endurance. Respect. Professionalism. Humour. Devotion to duty. Strength through adversity. We are proud to be known worldwide for these core principles struck by the original Anzacs so long ago, those principles which have continued over time and applies in all we do today.”
Harris also read out a moving poem that was told to him on the Kokoda Track.
We knew he came from the W. State,
Though to us he remained unknown,
For the WX was marked on his hat,
The rest a mortar had blown,
We buried him there on a mountain spur,
Where the trees are draped with moss,
We thought of the mother, no news for her,
Of that irreplaceable loss,
Just a boy he looked with his snowy hair,
So we laid him in the clay,
The padre’s voice was loud and clear,
No others had words to say,
Yet we knew a mother would watch and wait,
For a letter sent from her boy,
How she would dream of the things he did,
How his first words caused her joy,
Perhaps she will know in some unknown way,
Of the little rugged cross,
The remains of her hero, under it lay,
Where the trees are draped with moss,
We cursed the heathen who stripped the dead,
No pity on them can be shown,
We marked the cross so it can be read,
CELEBRATING birthdays is a wonderful opportunity to resurrect great figures of literature and enter their world.
Alex Robson’s A Short Guide to Shakespeare has done just that by celebrating William Shakespeare’s birthday 450 years ago in a short, intense review of his life and times.
Alex has turned his focus on the classics before. Wilde, Dickens, Moliere, Brecht have all come under his scrutiny.
However, kaleidoscoping Shakespeare, considered the greatest writer in the English language, into a neat 75 minutes of entertainment, is a bigger task – a David and Goliath challenge – especially when you are only armed with a sling of your own clever language and inventiveness.
Alex has solved the problem of presenting the weighty Shakespeare by nimbly sidestepping attitudes of reverential homage. The poster for the show, depicting Shakespeare toppling from his pedestal, sets the tone of the production.
A Short Guide to Shakespeare is a light-hearted romp through the work of the Bard, backgrounded against the daily life and struggles of doing theatre in London in the late 16th century.
We learn about the politics of the day, the scourge of the plague, the burning down of the first Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s defection to London leaving behind a wife and two children, his extraordinary output, and career. We become privy to his acute observation of human beings with all their eccentricities and foibles.
It is a minimalist production in the style of an animated lecture: a bare black stage with only two boxes (camouflaged to look like piles of books) containing props, and a sign pointing to London and Stratford. No lowering of lights and the audience is in full view, as in the Elizabethan theatre.
The only concession to flamboyance are the colourful period costumes (made by Margaret Sims) and worn by Alex and his co-player Nick Sinclair.
Alex and Nick’s performances are clever and amusing, punctuated by some serious scenes taken from Shakespeare’s 38 plays.
My only quibble is that the play needs more work. Judicious editing, shaping and critical input by an outside director would turn this rough diamond into a sparkling gem – and a good touring project to schools.