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					                                                   Ever the protector of police earnings
                                                                                                           ven as his life ebbed          At    home       on     Saturday


                                                                                                 E
24
                                                                                                           away, Peter “Pedro”          afternoons, the Warman family
                                                                                                           Warman,       the     man    listened to radio broadcasts of
Police Journal February 2007 journal.pasa.asn.au




                                                                                                           credited with almost         local footy matches, as the
                                                                                                 single-handedly establishing the       children folded flyers and letters,
                                                                                                 Police Credit Union, still took time   which they sealed in envelopes for
                                                                                                 to stick up for police officers’       mailing to prospective members.
                                                                                                 financial interests.                     And Ann wound back all the
                                                                                                   It came in what would be his last    adding-machine rolls so that
                                                                                                 conversation with PCU chief            Pedro could use both sides of
                                                                                                 executive Geoff Doyle, who had         them.
                                                                                                 visited the cancer-stricken Pedro        Says Mr Doyle: “He used to go
                                                                                                 in a suburban care facility.           home of a night with the ledgers
                                                                                                   “He could hardly get the words       and the month’s results and, with
                                                                                                 out and was grimacing with the         a calculator, try to work out
                                                                                                 pain,” Mr Doyle remembers. “But        whether or not they’d made a
                                                                                                 he wanted to make sure that I          profit. I couldn’t even imagine
                                                                                                 carried on the good work that he       doing that.
                                                                                                 had started.                             “But they were the sorts of,
                                                                                                   “By that, I knew what he meant –     some would say, almost archaic
                                                                                                 look after the members, look after     beginnings to this organization.
                                                                                                 the staff; don’t charge ridiculous     That’s how it all happened.”
                                                                                                 fees; maintain it as a credit union,     In August 1971, Pedro – on
                                                                                                 not as a bank. He asked all those      secondment from SAPOL – went to
                                                                                                 sorts of things, so I made him that    work as the full-time manager of
                                                                                                 promise.”                              the PCU. As he went about
                                                       Peter Richard Warman                        Pedro had set out to form the        building up the organization and
                                                                                                 credit union with nothing behind       brought in some accountants, he
                                                       Police Association life member            him besides the support of his         earned a reputation as a people
                                                       Born: Glenelg, September 26, 1931         family     and     fellow     Police   person and an excellent recruiter.
                                                       Died: North Plympton, November 16, 2006   Association committee members.           “Once he’d recruited someone,
                                                                                                 He had neither qualifications nor      he was able to engender the
                                                                                                 experience in banking, and had         feeling of a relationship and
                                                                                                 left school at the age of 14.          loyalty to the organization,” Mr
                                                                                                   But he had the confidence of his     Doyle says.
                                                                                                 close friend and mentor, Ralph           “I’ve still got probably six or
                                                                                                 Tremethick, the then Police            seven employees who were around
                                                                                                 Association secretary from whom        in Peter’s time – one with 26 and
                                                                                                 the grand credit union idea had        many with 20 years’ service. I’ve
                                                                                                 come. The revered union leader,        only got them because Peter put
                                                                                                 whom Pedro called “Father”,            that belief in them many years
                                                                                                 convinced him to take on the           ago.”
                                                                                                 enormous challenge.                      The humble credit union Pedro
                                                                                                   So, with little more than an         started on his kitchen table in
                                                                                                 adding machine, a ledger, and any      1970 had just 286 members and
                                                                                                 space on his kitchen table, Pedro      $20,000 in assets. But, from that
                                                                                                 in 1970 kicked off the Police          beginning, it grew into the vibrant
                                                                                                 Association Credit Union (now the      financial institution of today and
                                                                                                 PCU). His wife, Ann, and children      boasts 37,000 members and assets
                                                                                                 joined in the venture, acting as his   worth more than $384 million.
                                                                                                 assistants.                              Pedro, who had attended Sacred
                                                                                                                                        Heart College and later worked as
Pedro (centre) with Ralph Tremethick
(left) and Glyn Walkley




a telegram boy and carpenter,                                                                                                                               25
joined SAPOL as a 20-year-old in
July 1952. Only three months




                                                                                                                                                            Police Journal February 2007 journal.pasa.asn.au
earlier, he had married Ann, a
Western Australian nurse then due
to take up a post at the Alice
Springs Hospital.
  First assigned to the city and,
later, Unley, Pedro joined the
Traffic Branch at Thebarton
barracks in 1953, when he began
work as a motorcycle officer. In
1955, he transferred to the
Accident Investigation Section
(now Major Crash) and would, of
course, end up working among
twisted car wrecks and hideously
disfigured corpses.
  He survived the psychological
and emotional strains of the job
without any grief counselling,           In 1966, Pedro, with an interest       But he would never have              Probus and did volunteer
which was then yet to become a         he had developed in police             received those awards had he not       maintenance work for the
SAPOL-provided service.                unionism, ran for – and won –          survived a 1967 car accident. He       Normanville Museum, in which he
  In 1957, Pedro colleague Ron         office as a Police Association         was driving home from Echunga in       even installed a blacksmith shop.
McCallum requested the then            committee member. He served the        the Aqua Lung Land Rover, which          In 1987, he and Ann travelled to
commissioner, John McKinna, to         association in that role for five      left the road and hit a gum tree.      Korea with their daughter, and in
consider the formation of an           years, before he won the office of       The impact of the crash ruptured     recent years visited China.
underwater recovery team. The          vice-president in 1971.                his liver in three places, and           In 2005, the Warmans moved
government responded with a              Pedro also won the presidency of     doctors did not expect him to live.    back to Adelaide, where Pedro,
grant, enabling SAPOL to               the Police Club, after he had          The devout Catholic even received      who had suffered prostate cancer,
establish the Aqua Lung Squad, in      served for three years as one of its   his last rites.                        underwent        knee-replacement
which Pedro and Mr McCallum            committee members. Passionate            His survival seemed attributable     surgery.      Later bone scans
became original members.               as he was about food and drink,        to his strong build and good           revealed him to be afflicted with
  Later, after Mr McCallum moved       good company and conversation,         physical condition, but Pedro          multiple tumours. He was to die of
into detective work, Pedro became      he along with Ralph Tremethick         would say his deep love for his        them 12 months later.
the officer-in-charge of the           and civilian Glyn Walkley started      family inspired him to recover.          His family and friends, including
squad, which he would diligently       the Police Club monthly luncheons        He retired in 1986, after 15 years   many serving and retired police
serve for 15 years. He revelled in     in 1968.                               as manager of the PCU. SAPOL           officers, paid him their last
the excitement of his work and the       Held in Fenwick Hall on              paid a special tribute to his          respects in a service at St Therese
challenge of building up a team of     Mondays, the 364 luncheons drew        commitment to water policing           Church, Colonel Light Gardens. In
professional divers.                   guest speakers from the highest        when it christened one of its          a tribute to his contribution to
  Pedro, who clocked up 3,200          offices in the land. Among those       launches the Pedro Warman – an         water policing, Water Operations
underwater hours, sometimes            who addressed the regular,             honour of which he was forever         Unit members parked the Pedro
spoke of the dark, frightening         devoted crowd were Sir Edward          proud.                                 Warman outside the church.
depths in which he and his             “Weary” Dunlop, Gough Whitlam,           Soon into his retirement, Pedro        Pedro is survived by his wife Ann,
colleagues would search for            Sir Mark Oliphant, Sir Zelman          and his wife Ann moved to a two-       daughters Terry and Danielle, son
human remains. Team members            Cowan, Bob Hawke, Bill Hayden          hectare property in Normanville,       Chris and five grandchildren.
felt great satisfaction whenever       and Alexander Downer.                  but also travelled extensively
they found a body.            Most       Both the Police Association and      around Australia and took a trip to                      – Brett Williams
important to Pedro about that          the Police Club awarded Pedro life     Singapore.
find was that it meant the return      membership for his outstanding           Back in his new local community,
of a loved one’s remains to a          commitment to them.                    he became the curator of a church
family.                                                                       cemetery, joined Yankallila Men’s

				
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