IPA Founder

The Founder is Dead... Long Live the Founder

Arthur Troop 1914 - 2000

Arthur Trooper

Arthur Troop was born on December 15, 1914. He joined the Lincolnshire Constabulary on June 19, 1936. He married Marjorie. They had two sons, Barry and Kevin, and a daughter, Susan. He retired in 1966. Arthur died from cancer on November 30, 2000, aged 85 years. May he rest in peace.

That might have been his obituary, if he had been an ordinary policeman. But Arthur certainly was not ordinary. He had a dream. A dream born from the most destructive world war ever known; a dream spurred on by the chaotic aftermath of a world still reeking with suspicion and hostility, licking its wounds while preparing for another war. Friendship was a forgotten word in that sorry world. Arthur realised that the restoration of friendship would be the key that would unlock repressed brotherhood and understanding. So he wrote a few letters advocating the restoration lost art of pen-friendship and suggesting the exchange of holidays. Heartened by the response he set about putting a structure on his dream.

But then no man is a prophet in his own land especially if he is a lowly constable. Granted, his superintendent donated ten shillings but his chief constable ordered him to stand to attention in his office for 30 terrifying minutes. He was told “You are only a temporary sergeant, substantively a constable. You must hand over all papers to me so that what could be a great scheme would be handled properly”. Arthur refused. Happily not all superior officers doubted Arthur's competence and the International Police Association was born on January 1, 1950. The only thing ordinary about Arthur was his description in his IPA membership card, which stated that Arthur Troop was granted ordinary membership of the British Section on the 1st day of January, 1950 and was allocated membership number A.1.

Fifty years later, the Founder died. Arthur Troop, BEM, Austrian Cross of Honour, Golden Sword of Hungary, IPA Gold Medal and various other honours, including a statue in Hungary and a doctorate from Canada, may have died but his dream lives on in the hearts of 295,000 members in 62 countries. Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, representing Queen Elizabeth II of England and mourners from all over the world, including Section Ireland, attended the funeral of a practical dreamer. Long Live the Founder.

(Written by the late John McCormack, Editor IPA Guide, Ireland.)

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