Geoff Fay leaving a lasting legacy in Childers

Retiring Childers OIC Geoff Fay with his wife Cecily and kids, Warwick and Emily. Pictures: AARON GOODWIN

By Aaron Goodwin

Retiring Childers Police Station OIC Geoff Fay said he simply couldn’t find a better place to live, work and raise a family, resulting in an illustrious 22 year stint in Childers.

Geoff served with the Police for 40 years and clearly had a profound impact of the Childers community, with a large crowd of community members and fellow emergency service personnel attending his retirement ceremony and guard of honour on 14 January.

After speeches, a piping ceremony and honour guard was held for Geoff and his wife Cecily, with two long lines of people shaking and hugging the pair as they made their way to the police car, for Geoff’s final patrol of the town.

Geoff’s favourite song Eagle Rock playing in the background.

Mr Fay was overwhelmed with the turnout and doing his best to hold back tears, with the words of high regard for his work.

”Really proud when people speak highly of you, your family and the police service as a whole,” Mr Fay said.

”We’ve got a great unit here and it just shows the community satisfaction in the police service at Childers.

”We worked hard over a long period of time to get where we are now and I’m very proud to of been OIC at the Childers Police Station.

”I remember saying some time ago, if they build a new police station I’ll stay here and next thing they built a new police station and I said I’m committed now.”

Geoff started his policing career in Brisbane as a trainee then served in Winton, Kingaroy, Mareeba, Middlemount and then settling in Childers.

Raising his family Geoff also has been involved with the local Rotary Club and the Isis Masonic Lodge.

”It’s a great service to be involved in, serving the community,” Mr Fay said.

”Whether you’ve got the uniform on or I’m tied up at the Rotary or lodge, I try to be humble in what I do and don’t look for a lot of thanks

”We just get the thanks out of what reaction we get from the community

”It’s not just me, I can’t do this by myself.

”I’ve been here 20 odd years and probably had 20 odd officers serve with me in that time.

”We’ve done it as a unit and with the support of the community, the higher regard the community holds us, the more support we get from the community.”

Bundaberg Patrol Group Inspector Anne Vogler said Geoff will certainly be leaving a legacy in Childers.

”I arrived in 2020 and he had already 40 years in the service, already 20 years as the OIC in Childers and I was trying to tell him what to do

”As you can imagine I learnt a lot from Geoff over my time here

”He ran a very good operation here, a great station and the crew here totally respect him

”I think they treat him as a father, not just as a boss

”The office is going to be a lot quieter at Bundaberg on Monday, we don’t have to worry about the phone ringing at inopportune times, with Eagle Rock playing in the background.”

Former editor of the Isis Town & Country newspaper Wayne Heidrich said Geoff has really made a mark on Childers.

”It’s a sad day for Childers now that Geoff is finally retiring,” Mr Heidrich said.

”He came here when the community had some troublesome elements, Geoff very quickly cleaned up the town.

”He and his fellow officers did a wonderful job, they returned the town to the sanctuary it’s always been.

”Geoff is one of those rare police officers, he works hard during the week enforcing the law, making the place safer for us all.

”He then finds time on his weekends to be involved in community groups like Rotary and the Isis Masonic Lodge.

”During his time here Geoff has been heavily involved in many charity golf days, ran annual debutante balls here.

”He really did put back into this community, he really did endear himself to the community.”

The Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire on the 23 June 2000 is a memory on the job that will never leave Geoff.

”That was a very tough time for everyone involved, for the community, the police service and Childers took a long time to recover from that,” Mr Fay said.

”The part police played in that recovery I’m very proud of and what we work towards and where we are today, I couldn’t be prouder of how we came together to get the job done.

”Recognise those people who not only perished that day but also the other backpackers that were there, they’ve been through a lot of hard times to.”

Geoff plans on staying in Childers, the enjoy some travelling.