More than 150 colleagues and friends gathered at the All Seasons in Bendigo last Friday, 24 August 2018, to celebrate the achievements of Mark Gilmore AFSM, following his retirement from the role of Loddon Mallee Region Operations Manager-Regional Commander.
The Dream Team: John Cutting, Mike Wassing, Mark Gilmore and Alan Ellis.
Speeches detailing Mark’s extraordinary contributions to CFA and the fire services more broadly were provided by Les Vearing (DELWP), North West Region Assistant Chief Officer Gavin Thompson and Chief Officer Steve Warrington.
Thank you to District 20 Operations Officer John Cutting, who kindly agreed to emcee the evening and kept proceedings running so that there was plenty of time afterwards to reminisce on such a long and illustrious career.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of an Outstanding Service Medal to Mark, the purpose of the award being to enable CFA to honour prolonged service distinguished by exceptional performance.
In his formal response, Mark spoke of those who have been mentors and friends over his 39 year career that started with a Junior role at Rheola Fire Brigade and was followed by many years at the then-Forests Commission Victoria before joining CFA as an Operations Officer in 2001.
Mark took a special moment to recognise the support from his family over the years, acknowledging that “fire is the family business” and thanking his mother Beverley, wife Christine and two daughters for their understanding and care.
In closing, Mark noted the importance of good self-care and managing your mental health in what can be a challenging line of work, encouraging all to discover things that fulfil their spiritual needs, in whatever shape that might take.
Mark was presented with a professionally-framed CFA work shirt that made note of his service history and current awards. The Gilmore family was also presented with a bouquet of native flowers to honour their contribution and personal sacrifices over the last four decades.
Mark can now be found volunteering at Rheola once again, growing fine grapes and hoping to make great wine at the vineyard he shares with wife Christine - Both Banks Kingower.
CFA wishes Mark all the best in his future endeavours.