News & Media

Vale Mary Marks

By: District 2 News

Category: People

  4.46 PM 12 December, 2016

Location: District 2 News

Views: 1081

On July 26 2016, the North West Region Community Education Group lost one of its valued and very dedicated members Mary Marks.

‘Our Mares’ as she was affectionately known was a highly esteemed and well respected friend of all members of the Group. She was also known by members from many brigades across CFA districts and regions.

Representing the Huntly Fire Brigade, Mary joined the Community Education Group in 2001, and was a group stalwart giving 15 years of dedicated service. During her time Mary actively supported the group and held ­the position of Secretary for several years. She dedicated herself to supporting members of other brigades with Community Education activities. In the first years of being part of the group, Mary assisted other members in delivering presentations. On one occasion Mary was thrown into the deep end and needed to deliver the presentation, this gave Mary the self-confidence to be a presenter and from that day on she never looked back.

Mary participated each year at the Elmore Field Days displays, as well as SAFE which is a multi-agency emergency services event for children. While participating in the SAFE program as a presenter, she travelled with other members of the group to many places across the region including Bendigo, Mildura, Swan Hill, Echuca, Kyneton and Maryborough. Mary was extremely proud of being a trained presenter and loved visiting Schools and Kindergartens to educate children.

On one occasion at the Bendigo SAFE Program, Mary appeared in a segment for WIN News where she stated “we start with children and we always tell them that what we have told them today, you go home and tell your parents. If we start with them at a young age they will grow up knowing about fire safety.”

The committee of the Community Education Group has decided that it would honour Mary’s memory and the significant contributions she made to the group throughout the years, by instituting an annual award in her name that would be presented to another member of the group. It was determined that nominations could be put forward for any member not on probation, as of April each year, who has shown themself to be a willing and outstanding contributor throughout the previous 12 months and has gone above and beyond their required duties as a member.

Votes were cast anonymously by each member with BASO Sharon Moloney offering to collate these and organise engraving of the shield along with a certificate for the winner. Grateful thanks must go to the Huntly Fire Brigade for allowing the presentation dinner to be held at their new station on November 26.

At the dinner and prior to the announcement of the inaugural winner, Huntly Brigade Community Safety Coordinator Megan Scott spoke about the contributions Mary made to the brigade and how she had assisted her community. Ex-Captain Euan Paton then spoke about Mary’s time as a member of the brigade and her shift from being an operational member to her role in Community Safety.

We were honoured to have Mary’s husband John make the presentation of the inaugural award and he expressed how humbled he was that people thought of Mary so highly to instigate this award. Alan Gale was announced as the inaugural winner of the Mary Marks Memorial Award and in Alan’s absence at the dinner, Community Education Group and fellow Dunolly Brigade member Rosemary Williams accepted the award on Alan’s behalf.

A very well deserved winner, Alan is one of those members who do a tremendous amount of work for the group behind the scenes without letting people know. – Congratulations Alan from all of us!

Community Education Coordinator Paul Tangey, Group Leader Ken Deveraux and all members of the North West Region Community Education Group

Last Updated: 23 March 2017