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Cup honours fallen police officers

Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph
Newman community pauses during the annual Bloody Slow Cup to honour of four fallen police officers. Photo: Kevin Mitchell Chasing Stars
Camera IconNewman community pauses during the annual Bloody Slow Cup to honour of four fallen police officers. Photo: Kevin Mitchell Chasing Stars Credit: Kevin Mitchell Chasing Stars

Thousands of Pilbara residents and visitors have travelled to Newman to honour four fallen police officers for the annual Bloody Slow Cup.

Attendees gathered to commemorate the loss of Newman police officers Gavin Capes, Philip Ruland, David Dewar and Karratha police pilot Donald Everett in a plane crash near Newman airport on Australia Day 2001.

Newman police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Mark Fleskens said the crash was still felt by the State as the most significant loss of life in modern-day Australasian policing history.

“Back on the January 26 in 2001, four police officers, three from Newman and their police pilot from Karratha, were returning from a remote community incident and unfortunately the plane crashed just south of the Newman airport — tragically all four police officers losing their lives,” he said.

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“So in 2005 the then officer-in-charge of the police station, Geoff Stewart and one of his colleagues (Tony Signal), an officer from New Zealand came up with the bloody slow cup idea — a take-off of the Bledisloe Cup.

“Since 2005, it’s increased with varying different sports and now include golf, cricket, soccer, netball, touch rugby and rugby.

“We had representatives from the Northern Territory police and we had police officers from across the State, from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury and from Perth — there are also retired officers who came up on the Emergency Services Motorcycle Association.” The main event each year is always the Bloody Slow Cup at Capricorn Oval between Australian and New Zealand representative teams — this year kicked off by families of the crash victims as they ran through a banner.

“The Australian team is primarily made up of WA Police’s wasp rugby team and other Newman community members or from the Pilbara, playing against the New Zealand team primarily made up of New Zealand residents in Newman,” Sen. Sgt Fleskens said.

“There’s never a winner (score was 12-3 New Zealand), but a very fiercely fought competition and the referee (from Perth) was impressed with the standard of competition. The numbers (of spectators this year) were pretty much the same, we normally attract 2500 people to the main event and early indications are that we will either match or do better than last year ($85,000 in fundraising) with sponsorships still coming in. Newman police and Police Legacy wish to thank all our sponsors and the Newman community, who once again make this event successful.”

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