It's at least 20 years since Dave Cook came up with the idea of holding an Ex-Bobbies pre-Christmas lunch in Hamilton, with the first one being held at Mr. Onions on Par-la-Ville Road.  This event has steadily increased in popularity, and with the assistance of Bill Butterworth as co-organizer a few years later, it’s become a very successful and most enjoyable annual event.

Organisers Dave Cook and Bill Butterworth

This year’s lunch was held at the Mad Hatters restaurant at the Mariner’s Club and as in recent years it was a big hit. Dave and Billy did a great job and we had some 40 of our ex-bobby colleagues in attendance at the lunch held on Thursday 8th December.  

Mad Hatters was packed to the gills!

Mad Hatters was literally bursting at the seams with not a spare seat in sight, so much so there was no space for three guys visiting from abroad who turned up at the last minute in hopes of joining the party!  However, they had no problem having a few drinks and joining us straight after lunch.  They were Peter McNulty, who served in the BPS from 1972-1978, along with his son Sean who was so impressed by his dad’s love of Bermuda that he now works here, and Nial “Irish” Morgan who was living here when Peter was here and Irish played in the PRC football team.

Peter McNulty (centre) with his son Sean, and good friend Nial "Irish" Morgan

Judging by the noise level, and overhearing some of the conversations, there was no question that putting a bunch of bobbies together is a unique opportunity for reminiscing and sharing some of the stories that could never be published in the news, but will live on through the memories of those who were there on the day! 

Cal Smith, Stan Francis and Carlton Adams 
(l-r) Rex Osbourne, Norman Wilson, Geoff Piggott and Paul Towlson
George Rose, Pete Shaw and Dave Chew
Roger Sherratt, Pete Counsell and Charlie Mooney

Just one example was Charlie Mooney (a member of the infamous ABE  Club!) who related the events of late August 1976 when his wife Anne Marie had just given birth to their daughter and was still in the maternity ward at KEMH.  Charlie described how he was involved in the capture of notorious criminal “Eggs” Smith and everyone involved went up to the Police Club where Commissioner “Nobby” Clark announced that because of the good work done by all those involved in the capture of “Eggs” “The beers are mine!”  

Unfortunately for Charlie he was still on duty in Traffic, and the phone rang in the bar just as drinks were being served, and he was called out to a serious incident at Flamingo Beach Hotel where a body had been discovered on the beach at the bottom of a cliff.  The body was that of Raymond Cabrall who had been involved in a most peculiar incident a few years earlier when he and his dog were both found shot and wounded at Spittal Pond.  By coincidence, another attendee at our Ex-Bobbies Gathering,  George Rose, had recently written an interesting article entitled “Man and his dog found shot at Spittal Pond, involving the same Raymond Cabrall which has just been published on our ExPo website, CLICK HERE to view it.

 John McConnie,  Louis Griffiths and Steve Dunleavy
Ex-Marine Section colleagues Alan Gorbutt, Larry Dean  and Mark Bothello
Terry Spencer and Ray Bell
 Larry Fox and Jonathan Smith
Bill Butterworth, Mike Chlebek, Bernie Pitman and Kevin Knights
Pat Hamlett, John Dale and Oliver Bain
Scott Pacheco, Reese Bartley and Vendal Bridgeman

Attendees also included guys from all ranks from Constable to Commissioner, and our senior retiree was probably Dave Chew who joined the Bermuda Police in 1963, while others included recently retired Calvin "Cal" Smith, our current ExPo President, and Carlton Adams, Reese Bartley and Roger Sherratt who also serve on our ExPo Committee.

"Moby" Pett, Dave Chew, Keith Cassidy and Bill Butterworth

Mad Hatters did us proud!  The food and service was excellent,  and a good time was had by all.   

Dave Cook gives the toast

Dave Cook raised his glass at the end of the gathering to wish  everyone a happy Christmas,  a healthy and Covid free New Year, and a toast to Absent Friends.