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Upper Beaconsfield Ash Wed Service
It was fitting that the temperature was in the mid 30’s during the service as a sort of subtle reminder that 30 years ago we had crews battling for their lives in hot blustery winds.
With so many people attending the magnificently rebuilt St John’s Anglican Church in Upper Beaconsfield, the air was hot and stifling but it was no match for that disastrous day we were here to honour.
Fellow fire-fighters and families came from near and far to remember our fallen ones and to share the grief and sorrow as an extended family bound together because of that one day.
With seating for around 500 organised between the church, hall and rear decking and with a plethora of multi-media screens everyone was able to see and hear the tributes from dignitaries and fire-fighters alike.
As the local school children sang the National Anthem beautifully the mood was lifted before the serious reminders of the events were unfolded.
But it was not just about the losses, it was also of the successes and recovery since then. When those who had fought the fires on that fateful day stood up in the crowd, an unprompted applause showed our gratitude.
Before, during and after the service I saw so many people recognising old friends and then having lively conversations with each other. Sure, it was a time to reflect but it was also a time to reconnect and be thankful that areas have since recovered and time has helped to let us move forward.