This year Moree’s Detective Senior Constable Tim McCarthy walked side by side with six Legatees and 13 NSW police officers to raise money and awareness for NSW Police Legacy - a non-profit registered charity that assists the spouses and children of deceased police officers.
Det McCarthy walked the Kokoda Track for seven days before taking part in an Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Bomana War Cemetery at Port Moresby.
It is the fourth year that he has taken part in the service.
“I’ve always been interested in learning about the history of World War II and to experience the challenge with six kids who have lost a parent who used to be a fellow police officer is really special,” he said.
Det McCarthy said the police had raised the money to pay the Legatees’ way to New Guinea.
The rest of the money would go to the NSW Police Legacy fund, much of which goes towards educational and counselling grants for children of deceased police officers.
“It’s about building a bonding experience with some of these kids who might be doing it a bit tough. It’s amazing the changes you see in the Legatees by the end of the week,” he said.
The Legatees were aged between 18 and 23 and were all from NSW.
The track runs for 96km and has been known to test even the fittest of athletes.
“I found it quite tough this year to be honest; I wasn’t as prepared as previous years,” Det McCarthy said.
The weather conditions usually play havoc on the trekkers, from dry and hot to wet and steamy.
Along the way they met the oldest living “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel” Papua New Guinean, Ovoru Ndiki, who is 103-years-old.
“Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” was the name given by Australian troops to a group of Papua New Guinean people who, during World War II, assisted and escorted injured Australian troops down the Kokoda Trail.
Det McCarthy believed the Kokoda Trail was one of Australia’s greatest “understated stories” in our history.
“I believe the story should be told in our schools and it should be better known throughout our country; it was a story of great sacrifice,” he said.
Det McCarthy said he would be joining forces with other local officers next year to walk the Kokoda Track and raise money and awareness for NSW Police Legacy.