"In the past, we didn't even have a toilet let alone a shower room.
"We now have a meeting room and air conditioning. The motor room fits a tanker, a slip-on and a quick fill, and we still have plenty of room," Allan added.
Regional Director Alan Davies turned up out of the blue to support the brigade and Allan said that was a wonderful surprise.
The following is from the Mansfield Courier:
The new Goughs Bay-Howes Creek CFA fire station was officially opened on Sunday with a crowd of more than 50 attending to view the new facilities.
The new centre will help the brigade continue to serve the area’s growing population well into the future.
Representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan, Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes, said the new facility cost more than $400,000 to build.
“The new station is equipped with two engine bays, meeting room, amenities and a water tank," Mr Sykes said.
“It replaces a 24 year-old shed and will cater for the brigade’s and the local community’s current and future needs,” he said.
“Situated at the junction of three roads leading to all the brigade’s response areas, the new station will also improve turnout times.”
Mr Sykes said the new fire station would provide a new, modern working environment for the brigade’s volunteers.
The Goughs Bay–Howes Creek Rural Fire Brigade was formed in 1936 and its 28 current members attend a range of incidents annually ranging from bushfires to flood relief.
“I’d like to thank all Goughs Bay-Howes Creek members for their hard work and efforts keeping their local community safe,” Mr Sykes said.
“Local agencies like CFA Goughs Bay-Howes Creek brigade are the backbone of Victoria’s emergency service response."
Photo: (from left) Bill Sykes (MLA, Benalla), John Burrell, Lee Johnston, Ross Coyle (CFA Board Member), Allan Edwards (Goughs Bay-Howes Creek captain), Paul Smith, Terry Elliott, Alan Davies (CFA Regional Director), and Paul Horton (CFA Operations Manager).
Photo by Geoff Henwood