Re­mem­ber­ing our po­lice

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THIS year's Na­tional Po­lice Re­mem­brance Day, on Septem­ber 29, was of spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in Queens­land, with 2014 mark­ing the 150th an­niver­sary of the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice (QPS).

The day was also par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant for Se­nior Con­sta­ble Ge­off Price of the Whit­sun­day Po­lice Sta­tion, whose great, great grand­fa­ther was killed in the line of duty on De­cem­ber 23, 1905, in Mackay.

On this day, Con­sta­ble Al­bert George Price, went with his part­ner to in­ves­ti­gate a ‘sly grog trader’ in Vic­to­ria Street.

“And while es­cort­ing him out to the street, my great, great grand­fa­ther was stabbed, but he was able to warn his part­ner of the knife, ul­ti­mately sav­ing his part­ner’s life,” Snr Con­sta­ble Ge­off Price ex­plained.

Con­sta­ble Al­bert Price was for­mally recog­nised by the po­lice ser­vice in 1999.

“When Al­bert died the fam­ily was too poor to af­ford a grave stone and there was no such thing as Po­lice Legacy to help with the cost, so he was buried in an un­marked pau­pers grave at Mackay ceme­tery,” Snr Con­sta­ble Ge­off Price said.

“[But] on Po­lice Re­mem­brance Day 1998, the then Su­per­in­ten­dent of Mackay Po­lice started an ap­peal to raise funds for a grave stone for Al­bert's grave [and] in 1999 the fam­ily at­tended the ceme­tery and the grave stone was for­mally un­veiled.”

Ge­off Price, who at­tended Mon­day’s can­dle­light vigil in Mackay, where a memo­rial to the three of­fi­cers who have been killed in the Mackay dis­trict to date was un­veiled, said it was an hon­our to know “that even though it was so long ago, there’s still re­spect for the sacrifice he made”.

Shar­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of the mo­ment with him was Whit­sun­day MP Ja­son Costi­gan, whose own great, great grand­fa­ther served in the QPS, also in Mackay.

"My own great, great grand­fa­ther Pa­trick Costi­gan re­tired after serv­ing in Mackay, Walk­er­ston and Nebo and about that time, in 1877, Con­sta­ble Michael Costi­gan, whom I be­lieve was a cousin, was shot dead at Bourke while serv­ing in the NSW po­lice force," Mr Costi­gan said

"Last Mon­day was cer­tainly the day for the com­mu­nity, in fact Aus­tralians in gen­eral, to pause and re­flect on the in­cred­i­ble sacrifice of our fallen po­lice of­fi­cers, fine men and women, in pro­tect­ing our com­mu­nity."

PAY­ING TRIB­UTE: Se­nior Con­sta­ble Ge­off Proce from the Whit­sun­day Po­lice Sta­tion and Whit­sun­day MP Ja­son Costi­gan, at a Po­lice Re­mem­brance Day can­dle­light cer­e­mony, held on Mon­day in Mackay.

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