Casterton brigade celebrates 125 years

Last weekend, there were several events to celebrate Casterton brigade’s 125th anniversary and the Auxiliary’s 50 years of service.  

By Wendy Kerr

More than 150 firefighters took part in a torchlight parade along Henty Street on Friday night.  In the parade were members from Casterton, Corndale, Stawell, Cobden, Koroit, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Portland, Coleraine, Carapook, Dunrobin/Nangeela, Henty, Sandford, Wando Vale and Dergholm brigades 

The parade was led by a vintage fire truck from Horsham and a colour party. In the party were Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, VFBV State President Hans van Hamond, Assistant Chief Officer Bob Barry, Chief Officer Operations SES Trevor White, District 4 Operations Officer Gary Harker and Casterton Brigade Ex-Captain Peter White. 

The parade salute was made outside Casterton Town Hall to Hugh Delahunty, the Member of Parliament for Lowan, Glenelg Shire Council Mayor John Northcott and Councillor Karen Stephens.  

Members of the Casterton Vice Regal Band, along with support from Mount Gambier, Hamilton and Portland, saw around 30 musicians set the tone.

The Parade proceeded to the Noss Road Running Track where members of the public also shared in the celebrations.   

On Saturday afternoon, Casterton Fire Station hosted an open day. The brigade’s vast array of equipment was on display, along with a comprehensive display of memorabilia.  It was very popular with the public and many people passed through the station. 

On Saturday night, the brigade held its annual dinner at Casterton Town Hall. Around 130 guests were treated to an enjoyable evening with many past brigade members and District 4 CFA staff travelling to Casterton to join in the celebrations. Past District 4 staff included Peter Baker, Ian and Shirley Jenkins, Colin and Susan Watt, Ken and Fay Stevens, Bruce and Dawne Furnell, Bryan and Noely Whelan, Trevor and Corrie White. 

Chief Officer Euan Ferguson presented brigade service awards during the evening:  Stewart Cook 15 years, John Coxon and Peter McCallum 30 years, Graham Devereux 35 years, Wayne Sealey 45 years, Peter White 50 years, Fred Nolte and Terry Baker 55 years.

Brigade Auxiliary award recipients were Carole White and Gwen McFarlane 45 years, and Debbie Wombwell 30 years. Debbie Wombwell and Brenda Elmes also received life memberships. 

The Firefighter of the Year was presented by Ian Jenkins, the inaugurator of the award, to the joint winners Tamara Pevitt and Mel Rowlands. Runner up was Ron Barton. The Encouragement Award went to Stuart McPeake. 

The weekend finished with a brunch and farewell at the Noss Road Running Track.  

Photo captions:

Brigade Service Awards (left to right): John Coxon (30 years), Brigade Captain Glenn Kerr, Peter McCallum (30 years), Chief Officer Euan Ferguson, Wayne Sealey (45 years), Fred Nolte (55 years), Peter White (50 years) and Terry Baker (55 years).

Auxiliary Awards (left to right): Debbie Wombwell (30 years and Life Membership), Carole White (45 years), Gwen McFarlane (45 years) and Brenda Elmes (Life Membership).

Other awards (left to right): Encouragement Award: Stuart McPeake. Runner-up Award: Ron Barton. Firefighter of the Year Award: Tamara Pevitt and Mel Rowlands with Captain Glenn Kerr.

Past and present D4 staff (left to right): Bruce Furnell, Ian Jenkins, Colin Watt, Bryan Whelan, Ken Stevens, Trevor White, Peter Baker, Mark Gunning, Gary Harker, Steve Cooper.


Author: Duncan Russell