CAMPERDOWN Fire Brigade has caught up on more than a century of history with the awarding of 14 life memberships.
Brigade secretary Bernie Sinnott discovered while he was preparing a eulogy for fellow long-serving brigade member Brian McMillan in early 2010 that, although he had received a number of awards, Mr McMillan was not a life member of the Camperdown brigade.
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“I decided to research the brigade’s history and noted that no life memberships had been awarded since the brigade was formed in 1898,” Mr Sinnott said.
Seven of the 14 life memberships were awarded posthumously. CFA chief officer Ewan Fergusson also presented three life memberships to the CFA — to Mr Sinnott, Mr Brebner and captain Peter Stephens.
Mr Sinnott described Saturday night’s function as fantastic, with people travelling from interstate to attend.
The secretary said Allan Willingham — who’s father Harold was a brigade member for 40 years, 34 of those as secretary — also launched a book titled We Strive To Save.
Mr Willingham compiled the book, which documents Camperdown’s fires and firefighters, with the help of CFA members and the Camperdown Historical Society.
The three members were nominated for CFA life memberships for outstanding service. Captain Stephens has been with the brigade for 45 years with 21 as captain, Mr Sinnott has served 40 years, 26 years as secretary and 37 as treasurer and Mr Brebner has been with the brigade 35 years, spending 22 years in brigade management. The 14 life members had combined volunteer service of 606 years.
Those awarded were Robert O’Neill, who served between 1905 to 1950 with 35 years as captain, John Sharp (1924-1967), Walter McDonald (1933-1972), Robert Clark (1937-1981), Harold Willingham (1938-1978), John Lane (1952-1998), Ron Pickles (1953-2007), Brian McMillan (1956-2010), Barry Atchison (from 1963), Peter Stephens (from 1967), Barry Fox (1972-2011), Bernie Sinnott (from 1973), Paul Brebner (from 1973) and Michael Brebner (from 1977).