News

In the archives: Senior Sergeant Walker retires after 38 years of service

By Benalla Ensign

1995

The Benalla Youth Group Performers have won hearts of judges again, finishing second at the regional Be Your Best Rock Eisteddfod at the Shepparton Civic Centre.

The Youth Group Performers’ theme "Moo, Bloody Moo" also collected individual special awards for best costume design, most entertaining performance, and most original concept.

They will now compete in the national competition in Melbourne.

Echuca High School won the regional Rock Eisteddfod while Kerang Technical High School and Echuca Secondary College finished equal third.

The Shepparton event is one of many Rock Eisteddfod spectaculars taking place around Victoria culminating in the Melbourne Grand Finals at the National Tennis Centre in September.

Benalla Youth Group Performers director Sue Kucia said she was happy with the group's performance considering many of the cast were in the competition for the first time.

She said the group would now fine tune the performance before the Melbourne competition where the group was competing in the premier division.

“Everyone is really determined to perform well and make it to the national competition,” Ms Kucia said.

She said even if the group did not win their heat, they could get a wild card entry to perform.

Ms Kucia believes while the support from local traders and companies has been fantastic, the new Delatite Shire should get involved in the project and support the kids.

She said in the past, the Benalla City Council had indicated they were not in a position to support the group.

“The Benalla Youth Group Performers have a very good name and are great ambassadors for the town,” she said.

This year's performance cost the group $3500, which is minimal compared to other more financial schools.

“A lot of people don't understand how much work the kids actually put into the performance,” Ms Kucia said.

Also in The Ensign this week in 1995:

● Val Wood retired from the Benalla Library after 18 years.

● Raechel and Noel Joyce welcomed their first child, Bradley Michael.

● Dale Woonton was selected in the Victorian Cycling under-17 team for the National Championships.

● Benalla hockey star, Ruth Ryan flew out to compete at the National Country Hockey Championships in Queensland.

2010

Senior Sergeant Bill Walker has retired from the police force after 38 years of active service - the past 21 of them in Benalla.

Snr Sgt Walker, 57, started policing in Melbourne, with a stint in CIB (now CIU) as a gun detective before working in Wangaratta.

He eventually returned to his roots at Benalla in 1989.

His family history goes back a long way - as far as the Kelly gang.

He said his great-grandparents, who are buried at the Benalla cemetery, knew members of the Kelly family.

Snr Sgt Walker grew up in the Rose City where he was head prefect at Benalla High School.

It took two years of post secondary study in science before he realised he was "not adapted to the sciences".

“I failed miserably,” he said.

He then became a Telecom (now Telstra) technician before the lure of the police force took him in a different direction.

Snr Sgt Walker said he worried about shifting his three children, a son and two daughters, from school to school in the early years.

“They were not happy with me,” he said.

“But they've turned out all right and it's given them skills to adapt to situations.”

Snr Sgt Walker said similar problems existed in policing today as when he first started.

“There are the same issues - kids will be kids,” he said.

He said it was often a generational problem, with the cycle of offending continuing in many cases.

Snr Sgt Walker said he had no immediate plans for his retirement although he certainly "won't mind not being responsible".

“I'm always thinking - what's going on down the road,” he said.

“"if you're not taking it seriously you're not doing your job.”

Also in The Ensign this week in 2010:

● Winton Motor Raceway wins the right to host Easternats for the next 10 years.

● Jamie Burgun has taken out the Intermediate Champion Handler category at the South Australia Junior Heifer expo.

● Esther Grainger-Jenvey and Ben Davies welcomed their daughter Charlie.

● Shepparton Swans beat Benalla in the GVFL by four goals.