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Guard of honour for Police officer Gail Shepherd

Author
Avneesh Vincent,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 2:34pm

Guard of honour for Police officer Gail Shepherd

Author
Avneesh Vincent,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 2:34pm

Members of the police force created a guard of honour as they bid farewell to colleague and friend Gail Elizabeth Shepherd during a police service in Whangārei.

The Houhora police station constable Shepherd was off duty and walking her two dogs in Helena Bay when she was hit by a car and died at the scene.

The Advocate understands that her two dogs were injured during the crash and sent to a vet. They are currently being cared for by family.

A police spokesperson said an investigation into the crash’s circumstances remains under investigation.

“We will look to provide more information when we are in a position to do so.”

The service for the 49-year-old officer was held this morning in a packed chapel at Haven Falls where those in attendance were dressed in black and blue.

At the chapel, Shepherd’s mum and her three kids remained at arm’s length of the wooden coffin where the constable lay peacefully.

Her daughter Tyme Rata looked distraught as she constantly embraced her mother.

“I’m still in disbelief about my friend,” said a colleague and close friend of Gail as the chapel.

Some officers seemed visibly emotional with several taking a moment to wipe their tears.

“She was quite the character. She was cheeky, loved to have a laugh, a moan, and was outspoken ...” the friend continued.

He said they were both connected to waka through their whakapapa.

“We’re what you call waka babies. You know back in the 90s, the waka was always paddled by men.

“But that soon changed around 2010, the time she started to participate and became the steer for her waka, much like me.”

He said about seven years ago after he introduced his daughter to Shepherd for waka, she took her in and treated his daughter as one of her own.

“My daughter says she would like to thank her for all the support and that she loves you.”

Aside from their waka bond, they shared a love for sports and even attended the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

He knew Sheperd back when she worked at the Tiki Tavern and soon followed in her steps by joining the force a few years after her.

The friend shared that during their last meetups, Gail looking back at her life hoped that her grandfather and mum were proud.

“I believe she did ... Love you my friend, safe journey and rest in love,” the friend said.

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