HISTORY ON THE BEAT
New officer on the beat in Eidsvold
ON A balmy summer’s night in 1905, Constable Albert George Price became the 14th member of the Queensland Police service to be killed in the line of duty.
More than a century later, his great-grandson, Geoff, has become the newest officer at the Eidsvold Police Station.
Constable Albert Price and his partner, Constable Cameron, were patrolling Mackay’s Chinatown district, investigating the illegal supply of liquor.
They suspected a man named Johannes was using a fruit store as a front for his sly grog trade.
Confident they had enough evidence to arrest Johannes, the officers arrived at the Victoria St store 8.15pm to take him into custody.
The suspect told them he would go quietly but what unfolded next rocked the Queensland Police Service and changed the course of the Price family’s lives forever.
Suddenly, all hell broke loose and Constable Cameron heard his partner yell: “Look out, he’s got a knife”.
The warning to his mate was his final words.
Price stumbled outside and collapsed on the footpath. He had been stabbed twice in the chest. Within minutes he was dead.
Johannes was convicted of his murder, sentenced to death and hanged at Brisbane’s infamous Boggo Road Gaol on May 14, 1906.
Today, three generations on, Senior Constable Geoff Price honours his fallen ancestor’s legacy as a Queensland policeman.
After 11 years on the force including, most recently, a lengthy posting in Airlie Beach, Snr Const Price, his wife and two young sons have made the move to the North Burnett.
With his family based in Brisbane and his wife’s in Gladstone, Snr Const Price said they agreed to compromise and meet in the middle. Eidsvold was the perfect fit.
“I’ve always wanted to work in a small town,” he said.
“We chose Eidsvold because it has everything we need. My eldest will start at the school next year.
“I like the idea of a smaller population and the fact the police play a more significant role in the community.
“I like the interactive side of the job. You get to be the middle man.
“You do more than just enforce the law, you’re assisting with all kinds of issues in the town.”
It’s only his second week on the job but he said his first impressions of Eidsvold were positive and he’s looking forward to making a difference.
“It seems like a nice, close-knit community,” Snr Const Price said.
“I want to build a strong relationship with the people and make the community safer, both in town and out on the highway.
“I’m excited to work in a small town.
“We get ownership and can take a more hands-on approach.
“We can try to nip problems in the bud before they happen. But it has to be a two-way street.
“The community has certain expectations of the police and they have to abide by our expectations of them.”
WELCOME TO TOWN: Senior Constable Geoff Price and his family have made the move to Eidsvold. INSET: Mackay Constable Albert George Price who was murdered in the line of duty on December 23, 1905.