News & Media

Death of Brian Learmonth

By: Leith Hillard

Category: People

  5.36 PM 3 October, 2014

Location: General

Views: 1880

The death in late September of former CFA Board Member Brian Learmonth brought to an end a life dedicated to service and community.

In 1955, Brian’s sheep and cattle farm was completely burnt out along with the homestead – a devastating and galvanising experience.

This was also the year Tarrayoukyan Fire Brigade was first registered with Brian as a member. Four years later he became captain and served in that position for 18 years. He also served as first, second, third and fourth lieutenant. From 1962, Brian also took on leadership roles within the Nareen Group and ran the group’s wireless sub base radio for many years.

Brian’s extensive experience and strong desire to ensure the best conditions and support for volunteers also led him to leadership positions with the Victorian Rural Fire Brigades Association. He was a progressive thinker who first proposed improving the funding of CFA in 1957.

From 1961-83, Brian served as vice president of the regional council. He was a CFA Board member from 1980-1989, and a local government councillor of the Wannon shire, now known as the Southern Grampians, being made shire president three times.

Pigeon Ponds Fire Brigade member and long-time neighbour Tiger Wettenhall describes Brian’s death as “an inestimable loss.

“Brian was the father of fire prevention in the south west. He was a mentor to everybody and left no stone unturned, running a fire prevention competition for about 20 years which was very time consuming. He was a pillar of the community.”

Acting CEO Michael Wootten, Chief Officer Euan Ferguson and Board Chair Claire Higgins extend their condolences to Brian’s family and his many fire brigade friends and colleagues.

Last Updated: 03 October 2014