Popular secretary and true gentleman farewelled

Member News image Wally (second from left) with members of Sarsfield Fire Brigade


Sarsfield brigade members have paid tribute to outgoing secretary and volunteer of more than 40 years, Wally Smyth.


In his last meeting with Sarsfield brigade Wally Smyth moves quietly into the room to assume his position at the head of the table. A well-organised and clean sheeted note-pad, attendance register and correspondence folder neatly stacked in front of him, Wally is the quiet elder described by brigade members as the voice of calm and reason and their go-to person for 40 years.

Wally started at CFA and Sarsfield in February of 1979 and took on the Secretary role in 1983. In 2018, he added the Treasurer role to his workload. As well as serving in Sarsfield brigade, Wally served a four-year stint at 1st Lieutenant in the District 11 headquarters brigade, holding dual membership until 2010. He also worked with CFA as a project officer from 2002 to 2006.

Paying homage to their teammate many Sarsfield members stood up and spoke about the man they are so sad to see step down.

Ex-Captain Ian Brownrigg remembered Wally being central to getting results at Sarsfield with his ability to curate ideas and present them to the powers that be to get results. 

“Success has come because of Wally’s impact,” Ian said. 

“He has been a large factor in raising the reputation of the brigade to what it is today.

“Wally’s main attributes include his clear-thinking professionalism, a sense of equality, lack of ego, and his commitment to the brigade.  He has been a large part of raising the reputation of the brigade to what it is today.”

Image of Wally with Captain Darren Webster

                         Pictured: Wally with Sarsfield captain Darren Webster

Member Joan Price agreed saying Sarsfield brigade is what it is because of Wally.

“Wally is accurate, reliable and an amazing mentor and support to all members; he is a true gentleman who always thinks of others,” members Simon Hof and Felicity Wilson added.

ACFO Darryl Hunter attended the event, congratulating Wally on behalf of CFA, Sarsfield brigade and the District 11 for his service and commitment.

Sarsfield captain Darren Webster presented Wally with a gift and a cake made by one of the members. 

He spoke about Wally’s expertise in accounting, administrative procedure and all things governance. 

“Wally’s contribution to the brigade is absolutely outstanding and we are all better for it,” Darren said.

“We will miss Wally’s cheekiness and sense of humour, and the subtleness of his influence on the culture of Sarsfield.”

Wally responded by saying “I’m only one of a team”.

“I have seen a lot of progress and it is great to see Sarsfield where it is today,” Wally added.


Submitted by Kylie Findley, SER Volunteer Sustainability Team