Vale Allan Duncan – Upwey brigade life member

It is with heavy hearts that we, Upwey Fire Brigade members, announce the passing of Allan Duncan after a four-year battle with prostate cancer.


Allan joined Upwey brigade in 1976, one year after moving into the area. For over 40 years, Allan was an active member of the brigade. He attended the majority of incidents, every training session twice a week and did a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes. Allan helped run our Junior Brigade for years and often acted as an official at Junior running competions and state demonstrations. 

Allan is an Upwey brigade Life Member, a recipient of the VFBV Gold Star Award, the National Medal and the National Emergency Medal.

Members from supporting Dandenong Ranges brigades passed on their sympathies and expressed their shock at the news with locals and other firefighters reminiscing about 'The Professor, the master of hose repair, a quiet achiever and a patient teacher to all the new members who came through Upwey's doors in his 41 years there.

Many of us will never forget his iconic Hilman Imp which he drove around, holes in the floor and rebuilt many, many times. One particular story from the 1990s that sums up Allan and his Hilman was that he drove the car from Upwey to Traralgon for the Junior State Championships, where he was a judge. When he arrived in Traralgon his car was leaking oil badly. Over the weekend he not only cared for the Upwey Juniors and judged the State Championships, but he also pulled the engine out of the Imp, rebuilt it, fixed the leak and put it all back together again to drive home to Upwey. He could fix that car with his eyes shut!

During his working life he was a scientific research boffin with Telecom and was very clever with computers, electronics and engineering generally. He could apply his hand to most tasks. One thing about Allan is you learned over a long period of time was that he was always thinking much further ahead about implications and possible future outcomes as well as the current task at hand.

You never saw him standing around waiting to be tasked. He was always on the go and always thinking about other members and their welfare. His consistency in training attendance and availability for strike teams was second to none. He was always working.

The Australian flag opposite Upwey Fire Station will be at half mast all week.

Allan, thank you for your dedication to the community. Rest in peace.


Author: Ryan Vanderhorst