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BONATO, Primo

Primo Bonato joined the NT Police on the 2nd of September 1952 from Queensalnd where he was a member of the Queensland Mounted Police. He travelled to the NT with Jim Conmee who was also a mounted Constable in Queensland before joining the NT Police.


Joined 3 September 1952

Registered Number 41

He retired in 3 July 1975 Primo was a member of the Water Police. Among other vessels he used the Pride Caravelle pictured to the right. Northern Standard - Thursday 9 April 1953 - located in TROVE - National Library Australia SAND MEETING Policeman scoopsmotor-bike pool. Constable Primo Bonato, riding a Vincent1000 cc, won four out of the six races run by theDarwin Motor-cycle Club on Easter Sunday afternoon. Staged at Casuarina Beach,the afternoon's races werewatched by about 300 people spread along the sand dunessheltering from the inhospitable wind and rain. Fourteen pounds was collected from the spectators by the Club. Conditions for racing, werefar from ideal and severalcompetitors' machines were putout of action by the rain and spray. Starter B. Cameron had ahard and soaking job liningup sufficient competitors to fulfil the schedule, and after the third race, the official pro-gramme was abandoned andraces were run with whatevermachines and riders wereavailable at the time. RESULTS: 1st Race: R. Allen 1, B. Balderston 2. D. Moore 3. 2nd Race: P. Bonato 1, D. Mccann 2, C. Adamson 3. 3rd Race: P. Bonato 1, D. McCann 2, R. Allen 3, C.Adamson 4. 4th Race (Handicap) : D. McCnn 1, P. Bonato 2. 5th Race: P. Bonato 1, M. Hutchinson 2. 6th Race (Handicap): P. Bonato 1, D. McCann 2. D. McCann was riding a 500cc Norton Dominator, R. Allena 500 cc Speed Twin Triumphand M. Hutchinson a 500 cc Norton. Unluckiest competitors were Mal Hutchison (who, but for a spill 300 yards from the flag in the final event, would have come home ahead of Primo Bonato) and Col. Adamson (who came off his machine during the fourth lap of the fifth race) and Jack Veal (whose BSA was always about to race, but never managed to keep going). Col. Adamson was attended by St. John's Ambulance man Dick Lucas after his spill and was carried off in a stretcher with shock and slight mouth wounds. Another Northern Standard Motorcycle racing story - August 1953 from Trove Primo was also involved in Police Rugby - see Sport page. Primo is remembered by colleagues for his unusual strength and they recall him pulling a V8 engine block out of a car just using straps on his shoulders. He was regarded at very capable at combative sports. He was a keen buffalo / crocodile hunter, sporting shooter and fisherman. Primo passed away on 17 February 2016 in Townsville, Queensland. RIP



Primo Bonato (right - using radio) and Allan Douglas (left - at helm) . The vessel is a Pride Caravelle that was later destroyed in Cyclone Tracy.

He was involved in the recovery after Cyclone Tracy and the Katherine Floods in the 1950's. Colleagues described his actions in both as untiring and heroic. He is described as having a calming manner and mentored and advised many young officers.

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