Finger still on the pulse

Retired Mosgiel police officer Scott Kerr celebrates his 90th birthday with family from...
Retired Mosgiel police officer Scott Kerr celebrates his 90th birthday with family from throughout New Zealand and Australia, in Mosgiel last week. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Once a policeman, always a policeman.

Even in retirement, former senior constable Scott Kerr cannot help but keep his finger on the pulse.

The 90-year-old Mosgiel resident has been off the beat for decades, but stays informed with the latest technology.

His daughter Lynette Harwood said age had not slowed him.

''He still drives, lives at home and uses his Apple computer, iPhone and iPad,'' she said.

''He's up to date with all those things and loves to keep up with all the news and what's going on.''

Mrs Harwood travelled with her husband Gary and their son Jason from Brisbane to Mosgiel last week for Mr Kerr's 90th birthday on Thursday.

She organised a surprise family reunion for her father, which was attended by a dozen close relatives from throughout New Zealand and Australia.

''My dad deserves this. The last time we all got together was years ago,'' Mrs Harwood said.

She and her siblings grew up in Mosgiel, where Mr Kerr worked as a police officer.

In 1978, he was transferred to Gore for a short time but returned to Dunedin to work in the central station's watchhouse, then as a police orderly and prisoner escort in the Dunedin District Court before retiring.

Nowadays, Mr Kerr cares for his wife Theresa (86), who lives in a rest-home.

''We were married in 1949 and all together it's been 66 years of bliss. Nothing can come between us,'' he said.

Mr Scott was born in Edinburgh and arrived in Dunedin as an 11-year-old.

He spent six months at Mornington School, then worked from the age of 12 before joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

He was deployed overseas in World War 2.

''I went away 13 stone (82kg) and came back 11.5 stone (73kg) and was in hospital in convalescence for 11 months.''

Stints working at the ''disabled servicemen's'' and as a foreman left Mr Kerr wanting and by chance he met a police recruiter while visiting his wife in Queen Mary Hospital.

Before he had a chance to think about being a policeman, Mr Kerr was given a uniform and told to patrol the streets.

Formal training followed and in total he spent about 29 years in the force.

He said it was an interesting career, which even saw him escort US politician Byron Lindberg Johnson during his visit to New Zealand.

''I've met the guys who sweep the gutters and the guys who rule the lands.''

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