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Callignee celebrates with a dance
On Saturday 25 May 2013, Callignee brigade held a celebratory dinner dance recognising 70 years of service to the community.
The dinner and presentation was attended by over 60 people, past and present members.
Peter Lockwood, CFA Operations Officer at Traralgon presented fire service awards to 24 recipients. These awards totalled 420 years of volunteer service to the community.
Callignee brigade was formed by local residents, who at that time were mostly farmers, and registered by the Country Fire Authority on the 25th May 1943.
Initially equipment was supplied by fund raising and local initiatives. Water tanks and pumps were placed strategically around the district.
The first fire shed was supplied by CFA in kit form and required assembly by members as was the concrete floor, the shed was later extended to allow more storage.
There have been many serious bushfires in the district over the years especially 1944, 1977, 2002, and of course 2009 Black Saturday. During Black Saturday 17 of the 32 brigade members suffered significant losses, 11 homes, sheds and equipment, fencing and livestock. The fire shed was also destroyed.
The brigade has been involved in strike teams at other fires and emergencies; most recently some members have been to Tasmania, to assist with the reconstruction after the January fires there.
Since 2009 a new two-bay fire station has been constructed and equipped with a new slip-on 4WD vehicle and state of the art equipment. This new station and equipment was funded by Government, private industry and private donors.
The brigade continues to protect the community, with a dedicated, keen band of members, but of course, is always looking for new members.
The brigade has come a long way since its early beginning and continues to be a vital part of the community.
Story by Ian Ewart, Captain Calignee brigade