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50 Year Celebration
On Saturday 25 May, members of the St Leonards – Indented Head Fire Brigade joined forces with members of the local community to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the amalgamation of the St Leonards and Indented Head Fire Brigades.
Overlooking Port Phillip Bay from the Indented Head Yacht Club, Captain Niki Habibis welcomed all guests to join in the celebration, and to recognise the achievements of the Brigade over the last 50 years.
Following the official welcome and the toast to CFA, Regional Director Bob Barry, with assistance from Operations Officer Ian Beswicke presented current members with National Medals for service.
Glenn Thompson, having served over 30 years to CFA at the Leongatha, Geelong West and St Leonards-Indented Head Brigades received the National Medal and first clasp.
John Fyfe, having served almost 40 years to CFA at Heathmere and St Leonards-Indented Head Brigades was presented with his National Medal with first and second clasp. Ron Frank, having served 12 years with the St Leonards-Indented Head Brigade, and combined with his National Service was presented with his National Medal. An unsuspecting Captain Niki Habibis, was also presented with her National Medal, having served 18 years of service to the St Leonards- Indented Head Brigade.
This would be the second best kept secret of the night…..!
Following a fabulous dinner provided by local company Café Ink, Operations Officer Ian Beswicke, with assistance from Captain Niki Habibis, presented CFA long service awards.
Keith Almond was presented with his 15 year clasp, and Rowan Hair received his 5 year certificate of service.
A special presentation was made by Firefighter John Fyfe, to recognise the efforts of Captain Niki Habibis in the planning and execution of the 50th anniversary celebrations. This was the first best kept secret of the night. John presented Niki with a firemans axe (head aged 50 years), mounted on a timber backboard (aged 50 years) with a plaque commemorating Niki’s efforts in the planning of the event. It was one of the rare occasions when the Captain was lost for words!!
The final special event of the evening was the launch of the 50 year commemorative snapshot of the St Leonards- Indented Head Brigade. Members Keith Almond, Steve Rodis, John Palmer, Niki Habibis and Libby Symons worked tirelessly researching, documenting and formatting the snapshot of the Brigade history from 1963 to 2013. The Brigade was honoured to have Brigade founding members Geoff Henderson (longest serving Secretary of the St Leonards-Indented Head Brigade and member of the St Leonards Brigade) and Doug Betts (Secretary of the Indented Head Brigade) attend the dinner and launch the snapshot. During the launch, both Geoff and Doug reminisced about their experiences within the Brigade, and how the Brigade has grown and changed over the years.
A fantastic night was had by all.