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New Rushworth Fire Station opens
Rushworth’s new Fire Station and Waranga Group Headquarters has been officially opened by Member for Rodney (and CFA fire-fighter) Paul Weller, MLA.
The new Station was accepted by Rushworth Captain Graeme Wall on behalf of the Brigade and the local community.
More than three hundred locals and visitors attended the ceremony, many of whom accepted the open invitation to inspect the new facility. Their praise was universal.
The Brigade also formally accepted a new state of the art fire-fighting tanker, which will become fully operational when member training is complete. Costing around $350,000, the tanker was provided under the State Government funded CFA Vehicle Replacement program.
A long-serving member of the Lockington Fire Brigade, Mr Weller was clearly delighted to be able to congratulate the local team for their many decades of service, before handing the keys of the vehicle to RFB First Lieutenant, Mark Jones.
The Station opening ceremony included presentation of important service certificates and medals to fourteen current Brigade members, and to a former member - Les Morgan - whose Brigade Life Membership medal had been conferred in 1999 but never formally presented.
CFA Board Member, Mr Ross Coyle, travelled to Rushworth to carry out the presentations. Mr Coyle is a key member of the Authority’s awards selection team, and was pleased to be able to take part in formal recognition of the efforts of the local Brigade.
Two current members - John Moylan and current captain Graeme Wall - were awarded Life Membership of the Rushworth Brigade.
Graeme Wall was also granted Life Membership of the CFA in recognition of his outstanding Emergency Services leadership. He has been a member of the Brigade Management Team since 1984.
Fire-fighting Moylans next generation?
The opening of the new Rushworth Fire Station was special day indeed for the members of the Moylan Family, three of whose members were awarded honours during the event.
Brendan and Daniel Moylan were presented with Service Certificates that recognise their five year contributions to the Country Fire Authority. Both are former Shire of Campaspe Junior Citizens of the Year.
Their father, John Moylan, has been a member of the Brigade since 1986, earning him a twenty-five year medal and Life Membership of the Rushworth Fire Brigade. John’s father, Tom Moylan, was a decorated member of the Brigade whose contributions were recognised a CFA Gold Star Medallion.
John Moylan is pictured below holding Daniel Moylan’s son, Xavier. If young Xavier follows the family tradition, he may well become one of the fourth generation of fire-fighting Moylans to serve the Rushworth Fire Brigade and the local community.
History preserved in Rushworth move
When members of the Rushworth Fire Brigade first inspected their new Fire Station in mid-2013, they were stunned by both the scale of the complex and the potential it promised for delivery of advanced fire-fighting services in and around Rushworth.
Compared to the quaint Moora Road station that had served the Brigade for more than seven decades, the new building was spacious, airy and modern. It could house the Brigade’s key fire -fighting appliances under one roof and came equipped with powerful communications and information technology facilities that are truly state of the art.
Nevertheless, living in a community steeped in history, the Brigade Management Team and general members were all keen to ensure that the Brigade’s links with the past were preserved for future generations.
The Brigade’s impressive trophy collection and display cases were scrupulously cleaned and carefully relocated from Moora Road to Murchison Road. They now line the walls of the Engine Bay, together with some Brigade-related photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
(Dozens of later photographs and other Brigade memorabilia have been electronically recorded for future display, and the original items will shortly be stored under archival conditions to ensure their preservation.)
The Brigade’s original Honour Board had seen better days, and some of its information was found to be out of sequence. The Brigade therefore commissioned two magnificent new Iron Bark Honour Boards that preserve the foundations and growth of the Brigade over more than a century.The original Honour Board will be donated to the Rushworth Museum to add to its collection of significant local items, and a new, contemporary Honour Board inside the Station's office and amenities precinct will record the current and future members of the Brigade Management Team.
Also preserved in the new station are the plaque from the Moora Road Fire Station that commemorated its opening in 1939, and the classic fire bell that tolled to summon fire-fighters in bygone days. The plaque and bell have been mounted together with the new commemorative plaque in a stonework masterpiece by local mason Jason Webb.
After the opening ceremony and award presentations, while most people were enjoying a barbecued sausage or a cup of tea, a couple of small but significant changes were made to the new Honour Boards.
The names of Graeme Wall and John Moylan were quietly added to the list of Brigade Life Members, there to remain until - many years into the future - Rushworth is once again blessed with a new Fire Station to house the members of its dedicated Brigade.
(Many of the photographs included below were taken by Blake Rosenberg, a fourteen year-old student at the Rushworth P-12 College. The Brigade is pleased to acknowledge the excellence of Blake's photographs on this and previous occasions.)