The Police Band plays on …
The ORIGINAL Western Australia Police Band was a brass band and formed in 1902 under the able leadership of Const C.Dodd. They quickly became known for the quality of their music, their presentation, and for their contribution to charities.
The Band was well equipped with first class instruments and an up-to-date library of music which enabled them to successfully compete against other WA bands. In 1906, they took part in a competition in Fremantle that saw them win the Quick Step, and achieve second place in the Selection competition. In 1906, they travelled to Albany to compete, where they finished in third place.
While the band was achieving great musical success, it was more their fundraising efforts that earned them notoriety. They raised money for various charities, particularly for widows and orphans, gathering around £7000 in the years before World War 1 – a very considerable sum in those days.
In 1911, the band’s leadership was passed to Const Alf Timm. But the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 sent the band into temporary recess as its members were called upon to undertake extraneous duties. All band work in these early years was performed in the officers’ own time, and when you consider the hours they were required to work, it was a considerable private contribution.
Despite repeated requests for the services of the band during the war years, it was almost impossible to muster a full complement of musicians and it often had to perform at half strength.
Although it was hoped to resume normal activities after the war, difficulties continued and in 1925 it was officially disbanded.
In 1966 Commissioner Napier agreed to the formation of a Western Australian Police Pipe Band, which is still in existence. This band has continued the tradition of performing at police and public functions as well as lending support to charitable organisations.
Like the original Police Brass Band, the Police Pipe Band has maintained a competitive spirit, successfully taking part in competitions throughout WA, Australia and overseas. It also played at demonstration events such as the renowned Edinburgh Tattoo.
Apart from its commitment to such events as the annual Anzac Day Parade, the WA Police Pipe Band provides the accompaniment for all Graduation Parades at the Police Academy, entertains at various Police Functions, and leads the contingent at official Police Funerals.
The WA Police Band – whether the original Brass Band or today’s Pipe Band has presented a very positive image to the people of the State.
Support from various Commissioners has allowed the Band to perform at optimum level, and from a Public Relations view point it has been and will continue to be, a resounding success.