Western Leader : February 10th 2011
www.westernleader.co.nz Thursday, February 10, 2011 In memory: May Mackey next to the memorial unveiled in memory of her late husband detective inspector Wallace Chalmers, inset, who was shot and killed on January 6, 1963. Tribute -- 48 years on By STEPHEN FORBES IT'S BEEN a long time coming. But a memorial has been unveiled in honour of detec- tive inspector Wallace Chalmers -- 48 years after he was shot and killed in the Waitakere Ranges. Mr Chalmers and detective sergeant Neville Power were killed by Victor George Was- muth after responding to a call-out in Bethells Rd on January 6, 1963. Wasmuth had already shot his neighbour and wounded another man before the police officers arrived at the scene. He was later declared insane. Neville Power Memorial Park in Te Atatu was named after Mr Power and a plaque and a totara tree were dedicated in tribute to the west Aucklander in the 1980s. But no memorial was put in place for Mr Chalmers until last month. May Mackey says her late husband, who was 46 years old at the time of his death, was dedicated to his job and had been in the police for 26 years when he was killed. The couple had been mar- ried just three years when he died and had two children aged 18 months and 6 months. She was shocked when police officers came to their Glendowie home to tell her Mr Chalmers was dead. It was a tragedy,'' Mrs Mackey says. But she always knew there was a chance something ter- rible could happen to her hus- band while he was carrying out his police duties. Christine Julian, a volun- tary park ranger, decided to do some research on the officers' deaths and the tributes to them. When I dug around I found there was no similar tribute to Wallace Chalmers.'' She says no memorial was built because he wasn't from west Auckland. Mrs Julian approached the former Henderson Com- munity Board last year with the idea of building a monu- ment in honour of Mr Chalmers. And last month a plaque was unveiled at Te Atatu South Park. Assistant police com- missioner for Auckland Allan Boreham attended the unveiling and the Auckland Police Pipe Band, which Mr Chalmers was a member of, played in his honour. Mrs Mackey says the new memorial is a wonderful trib- ute and she is thankful to everyone who helped get it in place. I was greatly moved by the ceremony,'' she says. Detective inspector Bruce Scott from the Waitemata CIB attended the unveiling and says it's nice to recognise the service of a fallen officer. It's important for the police to have somewhere to remember these people,'' he says.
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