Sydney ‘Skip’ Howard joined the NT Police on 7 February 1977. He worked at Darwin Station and Pirlangimpi before transferring to the Marine and Fisheries Enforcement Section in 1983.
Skip gained his Master Five and Marine Engine Driver qualifications and became an integral part of the water police team, driving the PPV Salloo and other vessels. Sadly the Salloo passed on and Skip was left for several years without a ‘proper’ boat to drive. He eagerly participated and played a key role in the acquisition of the PPV Beagle Gulf. Skip was given the arduous task of flying to Sydney to test the Beagle prior to purchase. His skills in driving larger vessels is second to none, he took great pride in the fact that he was given the task of driving these vessels and ensuring they got to where they were meant to go and back again. It could be said Skip’s a quiet achiever; he didn’t say to much MARINE AND FISHERIES Skip’s ferried off in style but he got the job done. He commenced leave in June 2006 leading up to his retirement in 2007 which will mean 30 years of service with the NT Police, an achievement in itself. Skip is retiring to South Australia where he will put his old trade to use restoring engines. The Commissioner, Deputy, Commander Crime and Support and Superintendent Territory Support Division attended a morning tea for Skip at MFES in June which was followed a couple of days later by a farewell lunch. Skip resided at Mandorah, catching the ferry each day to Cullen Bay. On the morning of his last shift Skip went to board the ferry and was told he could not board. He immediately fronted the skipper of the ferry, “I don’t know why but I have been told you’re not getting on this ferry”. . . A short time later Skip’s ‘ferry’ aka the PPV Beagle Gulf arrived and conveyed him for the last time to work across Darwin Harbour. All the staff at MFES and other members wish him well in his retirement. By Hayley Dwyer