Submitted by jays on 28 January 2014 - 10:43pm

The trophy was presented to the NSW Police Choir, conducted by Mr Richard Thew, for winning the Chief Male Voice Choral Contest at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod in September 1954. Thew had been the choir’s conductor since 1933 when it was established to provide a cultural activity for serving police. Members were drawn from city and suburban police stations and performed at official police functions as well as local fetes and church fundraisers.  The choir made its first competitive appearance at the Sydney Eisteddfod in 1936 and won their first competition at the Railway Institute Eisteddfod in 1937. Over the years the press reported that these ‘chorister constables didn’t miss a beat’ and that Sydney’s singing police were ‘no silent cops!’ The choir provided the vocal background for two Australian films made in the 1940s:  ‘The Fighting Rats of Tobruk’ and ‘Forty Thousand Horsemen’.  They also recorded albums of popular classics including ‘Bless this house’ and ‘Deep River’. The most famous member of the choir was operatic tenor Kenneth Neate (1914-1997) who became known as the ‘Singing Policeman’ and upon leaving the police force went on to have an international singing and teaching career. The choir was disbanded in 1988.

Photograph: Jamie North, 2013
Gift of Alexander M. Cunningham, 1987
Trophy awarded to the NSW Police Choir at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod, 1954 Trophy awarded to the NSW Police Choir at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod, 1954 Trophy (detail) awarded to the NSW Police Choir at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod, 1954 Trophy awarded to the NSW Police Choir at the City of Sydney Eisteddfod, 1954
Portrait
Justice & Police Museum
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JP87/1190