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Nulla Vale salutes six remarkable volunteers
On 22 September, Nulla Vale Fire Brigade in District 12 celebrated the collective 335 years of service of six brigade members.
By Eric Thomas
The Emergency Services Minister Mr James Merlino attended Nulla Vale Station and was welcomed to Nulla Vale by 2nd Lt Eric Thomas (MC for the event) and Nulla Vale Captain Peter Hayes.
Captain Hayes spoke about the six members and their commitment to service for between 50 and 70 years. He also tendered an apology for Don Paterson (50 years of service) who chose not to attend.
The six members were awarded service medals, CFA Life Membership and the VFBV Life Membership to Nulla Vale Fire Brigade.
Mr Merlino mentioned the importance of volunteers and spoke about the commitment of emergency services volunteers and their service to their local community and beyond. Mr Merlino welcomed his parliamentary colleagues Mr Brad Battin (Shadow Minister for Emergency Services) and local MP for Euroa and Deputy Leader of the Nationals Ms Steph Ryan.
Also attending were Mitchell Shire Mayor Sue Marstaeller, councillors Bill Chisholm and Rhonda Sanderson and CFA members representing Lancefield, Pyalong and Tooborac brigades.
This event reminded everybody about the importance of volunteers within CFA and recognised the significance of all brigades including the numerous, small rural brigades dotted across Victoria. These small brigades are often the first responders to any turnout.
Mr Merlino presented the CFA service Award and Life Membership Awards to Denis Connors (50 years’ service and still an active member and has maintained Minimum Skills), Walter Connors (55 years), Michael Walsh (55 years), Colin Paterson (55 years’ service and the current brigade treasurer and still a valued active member) and former captain Noel Rainey who joined the CFA more than 70 years ago at the age of 15.
Mr Merlino highlighted Noel Rainey’s commitment to CFA and that his family is full of volunteers with Noel’s wife and daughter each being CFA members for more than 25 years and Noel’s son is the current 1st lieutenant with more than 15 years’ service.
The entire celebration was all about volunteers’ commitment to service and this was embraced by the whole community as local businesses raised $1300 to pay for this event.
The companies were: Shell Lancefield, Romsey Butcher, Lancefield Bakery, Lancefield Butcher, Lancefield Hotel, Jonny Nicholls from Lancefield Automotive, Romsey Off Road & Outback, Lancefield Fruit & Veg, Lancefield IGA and Blooming Produce Romsey.