On 21 January 2023, Chair Det Supt Donna McCarthy APM attended the funeral of Elaine Chapman OAM at the Macquarie Crematorium. Elaine was 85 years old, and was the very first of the group we lovingly refer to as “The Bear Ladies”, a group that meets regularly in the NSW Police Legacy offices to work on their special handcrafted wares.
In 1987, she created the prototype “police doll”, as her contribution towards raising funds for the Chapel at the then-new Police Academy in Goulburn. In 1989, the crafting group she was an instrumental part of became formalised as the NSW Police Wives and Friends Support Group, and the design of the doll evolved into what we know (and love) today as the Bear in Blue. The group have since raised well over $300,000 for the police family.
Safe travels Elaine. You’ve left an incredible legacy.