After a car crash Stuart Stow's thoughts have turned to his father’s death and the people who helped a teenage boy make a start in life.
The Flora Hill resident was recently driving down a stretch of the Calder Highway when he had a micronap. His car veered into the oncoming lane and scraped against the side of a bridge.
Luckily he walked away from the crash.
“I’ve had two near death experiences in my life and I’ve come to think Dad’s looking after me. Maybe I was such a pain in the a--- as a three-year-old that he doesn’t want me up there with him,” he said.
When Mr Stow was three-years-old his father, First Constable Graham Stow, was killed pursuing a speeding vehicle. He lost control of his motorbike on the Princes Highway and died at the scene. The speeding driver failed to stop and was never identified.
That was in 1963.
“I can relate to how Dad must have seen the world when he was on patrol. He was expecting to come home. But you never know if you are coming home, especially if you are a police officer,” Mr Stow said.
Mr Stow wanted to thank Police Legacy and Victoria Police ahead of Blue Ribbon Day. The annual commemoration encourages Victorians to remember the 159 Victorians killed in the line of duty.
“I often wonder where I would be today if my father hadn’t died. All those kids who’ve lost a parent (the ones who lay flowers at remembrance events), I feel for them because they are in the same boat as my brothers and I were,” Mr Stow said.
Mr Stow’s mother was left to raise her three young children on her own. She did get a bit of support from Police Legacy. They helped a teenage Stuart Stow get his life on track.
“If you hang around Frankston long enough without work you’ll get into trouble,” he said.
“(Someone from Police Legacy) came to the front door. I was inside with a couple of mates. He said he was from Frankston Police Legacy and asked if there was anything he could do for me and I said ‘yeah, I need a job’,” Mr Stow said.
They helped him get his first job as a barman.
“I’d like to thank Police Legacy for kicking me off in the early 1980s. If it wasn’t for them I would be nowhere near where I am today,” he said.