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Newstead Group brunch
Sunday morning on the 26th of May 2013 was dull and foggy with a light rolling mist.
Despite the dankness, I felt well as I pulled on my old leather jacket then lifted the front door of the hangar. I stood staring at the face of the impressive machine with its dirty red paint and polished alloy nose. A careful walk around saw the pr -operation checks completed and nothing needed.
I stepped up into the cockpit, settled behind the controls then fired the big engine. She rumbled into life then settled down to a smooth rhythmic idle as I taxied the brute out onto the concrete apron. Then, as I began to carry out my cockpit checks, the passenger door suddenly opened and a grinning face appeared.
“Where are you heading for, Chris,” said Newstead recruit Gary Wigley.
“Fryerstown. The brigades in the Newstead Group have been invited to an end of season BBQ at Fryerstown Fire Station this morning and so far it looks like it's just the two of us going,” I said.
Without any questioning he clambered aboard and quickly buckled up.
The journey had been pleasant and uneventful. The mist and patchy fog had cleared as we began our approach and descent through the winding hills of historic Fryerstown in beautiful Central Victoria.
Welcoming handshakes and smiling faces greeted us at the little bush station. A fresh latté and plates of superbly-cooked tucker were laid out by the hospitable Fryerstown brigade members who were keen to send us all home heavier than when we arrived.
“People and food make any occasion,” I said. Fellowship and friendships were well underway by the happy group of visiting volunteers .
There was not a mention of emergencies, brigade turnouts, the fire season or CFA policies among the volunteer firefighters. CFA members from Guildford, Campbell’s Creek, Newstead and Fryerstown along with Elphinstone brigade stood, ate, talked and laughed of many things around the glowing Fryerstown fire pit, with everyone agreeing it was great therapy on a cold day after the busy fire season.
Ex Fryerstown Captain Chris Athey and his wife Glenda said that their brigade intended to make the end of season BBQ an annual event and invited us all back next year .
Words by Christopher Simmins ,Newstead Fire Brigade, 31 May 2013
Photo by Jim Cole, Fryerstown Fire Brigade