A High Public Profile
In Chapter Nine of Golton Island Richard and Max find themselves conducting a Police Honours funeral in Horsham ...
After the hymns, after the readings, after the eulogies, after the prayers, the lengthy funeral service in the church neared its end. Max and Richard, dressed alike in their black jackets and grey-striped trousers, went forward during the singing of the last hymn, up the main aisle together from the back of the church, and discretely instructed the casket bearers, six burly, sombre, uniformed members of the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad, to take their positions beside the casket. At the end of the hymn, the congregation remained standing and the pipe organ switched to playing softly in the background.
Once Lachlan’s casket was lifted up onto the bearers’ shoulders, Max motioned for Lachlan’s teenage son and daughter to stand in front of Richard—the daughter with a blue velvet cushion bearing her father’s service medals, the son carrying his father’s police hat. Max looked upward across the congregation, gave a small nod, and stepped aside. A lone piper started to play from the organ loft above the entrance door. As the Scottish lament penetrated the interior of the church, Richard whispered for the children to start processing up the aisle, he followed immediately behind them, and the casket bearers with their burden followed, in step, behind him, and Lachlan’s wife and parents followed the funeral entourage out of the church.