Chance find a pipedream for family as treasured bonnet reconciled
A forgotten WA Police Pipe Band bonnet belonging to late Albany officer Alan Kibblewhite has been reunited with his family.
Mr Kibblewhite was a popular police officer in Albany in the 1960s and 70s before he moved to Perth and joined the WAPOL Pipe Band in 1973.
His children, Laurie Kibblewhite and Margaret Mullally, believe the bonnet was left behind after the band performed in Albany at least 40 years ago.
Sen. Sgt Craig Wasley said the long-lost bonnet was found during recent renovations at Albany Police Station.
“It was found in a storeroom on a shelf out the back. The container was discovered, we looked inside, a name was in there and so we made some enquires and eventually talked to Laurie about it and made arrangements to return it to the family,” Sen. Sgt Wasley said.
“From what I understand, Alan Kibblewhite was a very significant person and police officer in the Albany community when he was serving down here.
“It’s just great to get the bonnet back to his son and daughter.”
Mr Kibblewhite’s son Laurie said the discovery came out of nowhere.
“I was just like, ‘wow’,” he said. “We got thinking about how it got here because Dad came here in 1968 and left in 1972. He didn’t join the band until towards the end of 1973.”
A side drummer in the band, Mr Kibblewhite retired from the force in 1981.
Laurie said there were many memories of his father’s service as a police officer and the dangers he faced.
“One that sticks with me is that he was standing alongside Constable Colin Cusack when he was murdered in Spencer Park in 1968,” he said.
“He was either going to work, coming home or sleeping because of the shift work in those days. But he enjoyed his job.”
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