Remembering our police
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.