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Truck loads of service recognised
Lara Brigade’s First Lieutenant Greg McManus recently travelled to Queensland to present Neil Branch with his 65 year service medal.
Mr Branch, who now lives in a nursing home, was very emotional when he presented the badge to him, Mr McManus said.
“Even though his memories are fading, his time in the CFA is the one strong memory he has besides his wife who is now critically ill. We were able to spend some time with her as well to pass on the good news as she could not make it herself,” Mr McManus said.
“Maybe even more special than the long service badge was the photo board I gave to him to commemorate the naming of our new Scania Pumper in his honour. We have an identical photo board made up which proudly hangs in the Lara Station.”
A number of his family members were also present to be part of the occasion as well as staff from his nursing home where he now lives.
Despite not being a current active member, his work with the brigade over the last 65 years is always remembered.
He was a very active firefighter with the brigade during his extensive service period and was regularly one of the highest responders.
He was also a regular helper at the various community events the brigade participated in.
Mr Branch joined the Lara Brigade in 1947 and held the positions of fourth and third lieutenant. He proudly wears his CFA gear every day.
“His hat was so worn out I took him up a new one so he could look his best,” Mr McManus said.