Canon David Wilbraham was invested as MBE at Buckingham Palace today (5th March 2020). David was presented with his medal which he was awarded for services to policing by HRH The Prince of Wales. As well as the National Police Chaplain David is also the coordinator for National Police Memorial Day for which Prince Charles is patron, so it was fitting that HRH was able to present the award today.
Everyone at Police Chaplaincy UK is very proud of David.
Canon David Wilbraham, National Police Chaplain, officiated at the official naming and opening of the Paul McKeever Conference Suite at the Police Federation of England & Wales HQ at Leatherhead. Paul McKeever was the Chairman of the Police Federation of England & Wales from 2008. Sadly Paul died when just a month away from his retirement in January 2013. He had led the Federation through a time of considerable challenge and change and was much respected across Policing. Paul’s wife Charmian attended and also spoke at the ceremony as did John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation.
I came to know Paul McKeever through our shared involvement with National Police Memorial Day, an event close to Paul’s heart. For Paul it epitomized the admiration he had for the daily courage, commitment, bravery and dedication of those who hold ‘the office of constable’. Paul was someone who by his presence always ‘filled a room’ and I hope that in our individual quiet moments of reflection that you are, today, conscious of his presence, as much as his loss. You will have many memories of Paul but there are some common themes and words that constantly re-occur when people speak of him – integrity; commitment; great-orator; inspirational; funny; passion; intelligent; service; dignity; a gentleman; professional; outstanding leader. The words contained in the Memorial window here at Leatherhead – Duty, Peace, Order, Loyalty also reflect Paul’s character & commitment. Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem ‘If’ read at Paul’s Memorial Service were very apt for such a man. The strength of that public persona came from the depth of Paul’s inner presence.
It was a depth that was shaped by firm principles & strong conviction one of the most important of which was that ‘people matter’ and people matter more than things. In supporting fellow officers he recognized ordinary people facing and doing extraordinary things. Paul valued each person and his relationship with people was genuine. Someone has said "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Many will remember Paul with fondness for how he made them feel.
Paul was committed to the principles he held dear in his role as Chairman of the Police Federation of England & Wales. Today we remember with gratitude and respect Paul’s life and character; we honour his valuable contribution to British Policing and the stand he made to protect it.
This Conference suite will be a place of teaching, learning, debate and meeting. If those activities reflect anything of the man it is named after it will also be a place of principle, integrity and commitment to Policing and to Police Officers especially Federation members.
See the full article from the Police Federation here.