More than 100 guests crowded into the Bridgehouse Bar to pay tribute to Sergeant Bede Haughey and celebrate his retirement after 38 years with the New Zealand police, including nearly two decades in Warkworth.
Inspector Shanan Gray presented Bede with a Certificate of Service on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Mike Bush.
“There is no doubt, Bede, that you are a big presence in this community. You have worked to build the trust and confidence of everyone who stands before you tonight,” Inspector Gray said.
More than a dozen community leaders and former colleagues stepped up to the microphone to reiterate the point.
Among them was Gary Diprose, founding director of Springboard Community Works which assists at-risk youth.
In a passionate speech, Mr Diprose thanked Bede for his unstinting support, which kept him going when he otherwise might have given up. Working alongside Bede, had resulted in many transformed young lives.
“I am so honoured to be here to honour you,” he said.