Over 50 Corrections, Police, Courts and Fire staff joined forces today to remember two New Plymouth community members with an organised run/walk.
The annual event is now in its 30th year and was set up to remember Bruce Johnson from the Fire Service and Trevor Maskelyne from the Police who died in 1974 and 1979 respectively.
“Both men were respected members of the community and provided a dedicated service to the community through their work protecting it, so this event is a fantastic way of remembering them,” says Prison Manager Peter Madsen.
“The event course used up until 2007 was the same one that Bruce Johnson regularly ran prior to his death so it is a fitting tribute. However due to the need to ensure runners safety and the significant increase in traffic volumes on Liardet Street, the decision was made to modify the course from 2008. However, the revised course still includes the majority of the original circuit.
“The event was originally set up in 1979 after Trevor Maskelyne was lost in the Mt Erebus Disaster and it was decided that an event should be organised to remember the two men who had contributed so much to the local community."
This Saturday marks the 30th anniversary of the Mt Erebus disaster which claimed three Taranaki victims including Mr Maskelyne.
“This year, Prisons are the nominal host for the memorial event and, because it is the 30th anniversary, we have had t-shirts made with a picture of the prison and commemorative banner for the staff taking part to wear and keep as mementos.
“As the nominal hosts we are also providing a light meal, at the Police canteen after the event, which has been made possible from kind donations from staff. I am really proud of the way our staff have worked together to make this event happen.
“Although the events main purpose is to remember these two members of our community, it now also serves as an opportunity for Police, Courts, Fire and Corrections to work together and that is the positive we can all take out of these tragic circumstances.”
"The Police see this social running event as a great opportunity to interact with the Department of Corrections and Fire Service, whilst remembering two former colleagues. Although many current staff weren't in the Police in 1979, the opportunity to get together socially after the event and pay tribute to the tragedies that took these men's lives ensures this memorial event will continue for years to come," says Police spokesperson Senior Constable Jeff McGrath.
For further information contact the Communications Services Desk:
Phone: (04) 460 3365