Vic Police force commemorates ’98 World’s winners with charity bear
The tenth year of Australia’s Victoria Police Force’s annual charity fundraising drive is paying homage to the 1998 World Pipe Band Champion, with a commemorative bear dressed in the band’s uniform.
Each year “Constable T. Bear” is presented in a different uniform as a tribute to different units and squads within Victoria Police that have served the Victoria community. According to a release from the police force the limited-edition bears have become a popular collectible with earlier editions on eBay for as much as $AU3,500.
Proceeds from the sale of the 2009 edition, which stands 38 cm, go to the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation, a partnership with Victoria Police that “perpetuates the memory of police members killed in the line of duty.” Money raised funds new and improved emergency facilities in public hospitals that are named in memory of fallen officers.
Each bear is numbered and packaged in a souvenir gift box that features images and a history of the Victoria Police Pipe Band.
The 2009 edition is priced at $AU50 + postage and handling and is available online at www.policeblueribbon.com.au/
Under Pipe-Major Nat Russell, the band won the 1998 World’s after several years of coming close. Unfortunately the band never was able to defend its title after funding for travel to competitions was curtailed, and the band became more of a ceremonial unit.