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ASCOLI, John

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John Ascoli joined the Northern Territory Police on the 10th of August 1962 and moved to Katherine in September that year. While in Katherine he met his wife to be, Gillian, and they were married while he was stationed at Pine Creek in 1964. In those days members could not marry while on probation and required the Commissioners permission even after that stage. The OIC of Pine Creek was Saus Grant. Pine Creek had a massive patrol district at that time. While at Pine Creek they drove a Landrover. The government trialed WIlliy's Jeeps as police vehicles but this was not successful and the department then changed over to Toyota Land Cruisers.

At one point a group of people who had conducted a muster from WA border to the Stuart Highway and had some stolen cattle with them. One of the party became lost requiring them to contact police to search for him. After they were arrested for stealing cattle, the cattle were taken as exhibits and John had to look after them for two months camped on a nearby station.

John was stationed at Wollogorang in 1967. It was a one man station like most bush stations at the time (not including the Tracker who also worked at the station) and was 200 miles from the nearest township.

After 12 months of probation members could apply for a pistol permit and stations had firearms issued to them. Most officers did not carry firearms but only armed themselves when they believed they may be required.


In 1969 John worked at the Bennett St Police Station in Darwin and lost his house during Cyclone Tracey. In the aftermath the family lived under a tarp in the wreck of their house and later in a tent. In all it was 9 months until they could rebuild a house to live in.

Police at bush stations had to perform duties as the Deputy registrar of Birth Deaths and Marriages and representatives of many other federal and territory government agencies.



The material above has been paraphrased from the audio file.

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