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BOWIE, Sydney James

Sydney Bowie was born on 21st June 1914 of English parents and grew up in Longreach,Queensland.

He worked at several jobs in outback Queensland including in a tailor shop, and then with a butcher. The work with the butcher included rounding up cattle for slaughter and breaking in his horses.

He was accepted into the Northern Territory Police on 12th September, 1939. He worked in Darwin until February 1942, and when the Japanese bombed Darwin he was instructed to drive the Administrator’s wife to Alice Springs where he was put to work. He progressed through the ranks.

In 1942 he became involved with other ranks in forming a Police Association (a workers Union for lower ranks) and then in 1967, the Officers Association.

After 1964 he had several spells of relieving as Deputy Commissioner, and as Commissioner when the then -Commissioner Clive Graham was absent from the Territory. In 1966, following the early retirement of Graham, Syd Bowie applied for the top job, He was temporarily appointed as Commissioner on 7th September, 1966 until the Commissioner-elect, William McLaren from Victoria took over on 21st March 1967.

In July 1971, he was appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for public Service. He retired on medical grounds in September, 1971.

From NT Police Records/Glenys Simpson

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