Crowds at the annual ANZAC Day Gunfire Breakfast
For the past five years, Ballan Fire Brigade has been commemorating ANZAC Day with their annual Gunfire Breakfast.
Developed as a way for the local community to recognise the sacrifices made by veterans, it's also helped save Ballan RSL from closure by reversing its fortunes and growing its membership.
The dawn service starts at the park across from the fire station and wreaths are laid at the foot of the Lone Pine that was grown from a seedling brought back from Gallipoli. Those gathered at the service then make their way back to the station for a hot breakfast.
“Our brigade secretary at the time was also the local RSL president. It was a collaborative idea that both CFA and the RSL came up with to rejuvenate the branch,” Captain Ben Hadfield said.
“There are usually between 200 and 400 people at the breakfast each year and we seek a gold coin donation that’s given to the RSL. Over the years the event has raised around $2000 for the local branch.”
Although the event didn’t run in 2020, for the past two years adjustments have been made to take into account COVID-19 restrictions. One of these adjustments was to hold the breakfast on a vacant lot between the station and the park.
“The event is a good demonstration of CFA's values and putting the community at the centre of everything we do," Ben said.
It’s our way of showing national pride and our sense of community. It helps people embrace both in a simple way.”
This story is part of a new profile series which highlights our brigades and the great work they do in their communities.
Public link: Brigades of CFA
CFA member link: Brigades of CFA
Each week we will share a story from a different brigade, with all stories to be featured on the CFA website so all communities can learn more about our brigades.