A Wodonga man's commitment to those who, like him, risked their lives as members of an overseas police force has been recognised posthumously.
The British South Africa Police Regimental Association granted Nick Russell a Meritorious Service Award, only the second given in Australia, to acknowledge his decades-long contribution to the ex-member organisation.
The citation notes his role as co-author and publisher of Blue and Old Gold, described as the complete and definitive history of the British South Africa Police.
Mr Russell died in 2017 aged 59, but about 40 family members, friends and association representatives gathered on Saturday night at Wodonga's Birallee Tavern for the award presentation.
Born in Britain, Mr Russell moved to then-Rhodesia aged 17 and joined British South Africa Police on his 18th birthday in 1976, serving until Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.
Promoted to Detective Section Officer, the young man saw combat during the civil unrest that preceded this change.
Mr Russell's daughter Katie Shalevski said her father often talked about his time in the force.
"Some of which were the best days of his life, the camaraderie, the growing up he had to do, the experience," she said.
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After emigrating to Australia with wife Glynis in 1984, Mr Russell joined both the Australian and Queensland (now dissolved) branches of the BSAP Regimental Association.
Australian vice chairman Alan Hadfield, of Sydney, said there were 10 association branches worldwide, with about 250 members in the Australian chapter.
"It's a brother and sisterhood of former police members who still keep in contact with one another, remain friends," he said.
"Nick worked extensively at keeping members together via communications."
Blue and Old Gold reflected his love of writing, journalism and newspapers, with his career including many years at The Border Mail.
Mr Hadfield said the constitutional college, the association's international body, approved Mr Russell's award nomination unanimously.
Mrs Shalevski said her family was thrilled by the honour.
"It's really just a lovely thing to hear that people are still thinking of him and other people do acknowledge and recognise how much Africa and the BSAP meant to him," she said.