Dromana Ex Captain Charles King, Dromana Presider Robyn Desmond
Dromana Fire Brigade has named a further two of its vehicles to honour and respect their long-serving past and present members.
Robyn Desmond has not only been a Dromana brigade member for 31 years, but she was also one of the first female Lieutenants in a Victorian urban brigade. Not to mention the first female Deputy Group Officer in CFA’s District 8.
While her husband, Captain Timothy Desmond describes her as a bit of ground breaker, Robyn is not one for accolades and simply feels she is just doing her job. Now leading from the front as the brigade’s President, which she has held since 2008, Robyn is the quiet achiever work horse, and is more than happy for it to be that way.
A touching surprise for Robyn was the unveiling of the naming of the Dromana Car in her honour at their first Annual Dinner since COVID-19, recognising over 30 years of her service.
Timothy said he was passionate in continuing the legacy of long serving members and acknowledging their tireless contribution, and the 2016 brigade car is now the fifth car that has been sponsored through the Dromana Ritchies Supa IGA Community Benefit Scheme.
“The idea was for our vehicles to all have meaning going forward with a significance to their name - and should they get replaced over time, their name will continue across the new ones,” he said.
While Robyn has been an Officer for 24 years, she is no longer operational day-to-day, but instead plays a pivotal role within the brigade’s administration.
“Robyn looks after our brigade’s governance and where all our funds go. She runs all our meetings, she oversees the Secretary & Treasurer and does all our dress uniform & PPC allocations and procurement,” he said.
“When she stopped turning out, she had responded to around 1100 call outs. Now, the only operational role she plays is as the scribe for the strike team leaders.
“She is very encouraging to all new members and makes sure they are all doing alright. She is a devoted character amongst our community.”
On the same evening, the night began with the official handover of the brigade’s new CFA issued 4.4C Iveco Heavy Tanker by Deputy Chief Officer Kaylene Jones before Timothy formally unveiled the naming of the vehicle for Ex Captain, Charles King.
Alike Robyn, Charles has been a stalwart of the Dromana community and beyond, serving over 44 years in CFA across Mount Eliza, Beechworth, and Dromana.
Now Dromana’s Patron and elder statesman, Timothy said Charles was delighted that the brigade chose to name Tanker 1 in honour of his service and that it was special to have some of his children and grandchildren present alongside him on the night.
“Charles is very proud of the brigade, and the work that we do. He too is extremely encouraging to new members and has a genuine interest in making sure we progress positively as a community,” he said.
“Charles has experienced many roles in CFA, being Captain, Foreman, Secretary, Treasurer and President - his extensive knowledge also saw him as manager of member services at CFA as a staff member for ten years.
“We’re very lucky to have him as part of our brigade and to have had his wisdom coming through the doors for so long.”
Although he hasn’t been operational for quite some time now, Timothy said he still receives a call from Charles after a challenging callout.
“It could be a nasty road accident and he’ll phone me the next day to make sure the troops are alright. That’s just the kind of man he is.” he said.
Robyn and Charles join the respected company of the late Captain Retired Walter Guy, the urban brigade’s first and longest Captain serving in that role for 34 years, who has been honoured through the naming of the Pumper. While the Rescue vehicle was named after fellow Ex Captain Craig Solly who played an influential role in Dromana receiving road accident rescue accreditation in order to provide the service to the local area.
“Craig was a driving force, and Charles who was Secretary during his time, was also quite instrumental in getting this up and going,” Timothy said.
“We have some incredible people who have served the Dromana Fire Brigade, and I am pleased we can acknowledge their amazing contribution honourably.”
- Dromana Captain Timothy Desmond, Ex Captain Charles King, Deputy Chief Officer Kaylene Jones
- Dromana President Robyn Desmond