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Kaniva applauds 75-year member
A member of Kaniva fire brigade, on the Western Hwy near the South Australian border, has become only the second CFA member ever to be awarded a 75-year-service medal.
It had been five years since Kaniva Fire Brigade last presented their service medals. Their October event came with an added surprise as Jack Mills became only the second CFA member to be presented with a 75-year service medal.
“He’s a very upright gentleman,” said Brian Charles who was himself presented with a 50-year clasp and life memberships of CFA and Kaniva brigade alongside three others. “Jack is 94 now and up until a few years ago he’d always go to the meetings.”
In fact the pair shared in some operational high jinks.
“Jack is the only guy we took out in the truck but didn’t take home,” said Brian. “We hit a drain and braked hard and Jack got six of his ribs broken. He was taken home in a car.
“Jack was a branch man in the Champs – he loved them and he also loved work. He worked for the shire in a hands-on role and was an ambulance driver for many years. He was always ably supported by his wife Marg who was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary.”
Jack was completely taken by surprise by the medal presentation.
“He made a speech talking about coming back from the war and the local copper telling him it was about time he joined the fire brigade and he never looked back,” continued Brian.
Some may quibble that CFA hasn’t been around for 75 years. Jack’s allegiance to the fire brigade, however, has lasted 75 years and it was utterly appropriate CFA recognise it.
The other member with a 75-year service medal is Robert George Adams from Newham Fire Brigade. Much respect to both gentlemen.
Many thanks to Leilani Williams-Bale for photos