HIS­TORY ON THE BEAT

New of­fi­cer on the beat in Eidsvold

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Macken­zie Co­la­han Macken­zie.Co­la­[email protected]

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.”

PHOTO: MACKEN­ZIE CO­LA­HAN

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.

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