Service a 'unique' specialty for Venardos family
TWO Venardos brothers, two of their sons and a great-grandfather; police service is a "unique” family affair for former Gympie mayor Mick Venardos.
Today, the Venardos family will be commemorating the service commitment of three generations in Canberra as part of a Remembrance Day ceremony to honour officers who died in the line of duty, including Mr Venardos' great-grandfather.
Theodore Reinholt Herman died of a heart attack while escorting two drunk people from a Blackall hotel to the police station, collapsing after opening the cell for them to enter on September 3, 1950.
Describing him as a "country copper”, Mr Venardos was honoured to be able to recognise his grandfather's 37-year commitment to the community.
"It's a wonderful thing that the service has recognised their services to the community,”he said.
"To have our grandfather so recognised is a wonderful testament to his service to the community.”
Mr Venardos called his family connection to the police force "unique”, and it is not hard to see why.
Not only did he and his brother Peter serve, Mick's son Angelo joined in 1980 and Peter's son Anthony is currently serving.
It does not end there, though.
Mr Venardos also has two cousins in Greece who served on the Athens police force, and his son Emmanuel was a police cadet before he was tragically killed in an accident when he was 17.
"It was absolutely wonderful to have two brothers and their sons all serving as police officers,” Mr Venardos said.
"It's something unusual in every person's life who says I want to join the police force.”
The notion of family was something he hoped would also resonate in some small parts of the community.
"Police officers also want to go home to their wives and families, and not be subjected to the vitriol that is sometimes sprayed at them.”