St Patrick’s Cathedral at Parramatta has been transformed into a sea of blue with hundreds of police officers packing the funeral of colleague Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson.
More than 1000 officers will be joined by Detective Inspector Anderson’s family, friends and politicians at Wednesday’s funeral, which was due to start at 2pm.
Members of other emergency services, including ambulance and the State Emergency Service, are also in attendance, with the congregation already spilling out of the church and crowds gathering in an adjacent park to listen in.
The 45-year-old father of three was killed while on duty while attending to a neighbourhood dispute at Oakville in Sydney’s north-west on December 6.
Officers have laid flowers at the cathedral gates as they arrive for the full funeral service.
Detective Inspector Anderson’s wife, Donna Anderson, and his two brothers, Warwick and Damien, will deliver eulogies, as will Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.
Mr Anderson’s children are also expected to deliver readings.
Among the first to arrive were the Commissioner and his three deputies, Nick Kaldas, Catherine Burn and David Hudson, who will lead their colleagues in paying tribute to the fallen officer.
A funeral procession with marching escort and low-level fly past from Polair helicopters will travel along Victoria Road, Parramatta, between Marist Place and O’Connell Street at the conclusion of the service.
Governor Marie Bashir, Premier Barry O’Farrell, opposition leader John Robertson, police minister Mike Gallacher and Parramatta Lord Mayor John Chedid, will also pay their respects.
In an open letter penned for Fairfax Media, Mr Scipione paid tribute to one of the force’s finest:
‘‘Today we honour a brave man. Bryson Anderson. A police officer, and so much more.
‘‘A man who was so deeply respected by the community in which he lived, worked and devoted much of his spare time. A true man of the people.
‘‘His service to the community was far greater than simply those days when he wore that blue uniform with such pride and distinction.
‘‘And, of course, Bryson was a loving husband, father and brother to his own family.
‘‘To this family we owe so much. A debt of gratitude for the support you gave Bryson as he went about his duties.
‘‘Police officers understand that each day they go to work, they put their lives on the line. This tragedy reminds us all of the sacrifice that goes with that understanding.
‘‘Our community will always rely on men and women of courage who are willing to put up their hands to serve and protect. Bryson Anderson stood tall in their ranks.
‘‘Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson, friend, you have left us with an enduring legacy, a standard to which we can all aspire and for which we are forever grateful.
‘‘You will always be remembered. - Andrew Scipione, 12 December 2012.’’
More than $100,000 has now been donated to the memorial fund for Detective Inspector Anderson’s family, thanks to a $50,000 gift from businessman Dick Smith.
“All the monies donated to the fund will go to support the family of the fallen officer sadly left behind,’’ said Police Association President Scott Weber.
Donations can be made to the Bryson Anderson Memorial Fund, details of which are here: www.pansw.org.au ends.