Time to celebrate: Warrnambool Fire Brigade Auxiliary members celebrate and reminisce at the group’s 60th anniversary at high tea at Port Fairy’s Time and Tide last weekend.
From manning the radios during the frantic Ash Wednesday bushfires to raising money to help fit out the city’s fire stations –Warrnambool Fire Brigade Auxiliary has seen a lot over its 60 years.
The group’s15 members celebrated the auxiliary’s 60thanniversary with a high tea and plenty of reminiscing last weekend.
Auxiliary president Heather Love said a handful of the group’s current members had been involved for more than 50 years.
The anniversary celebrations were held at Port Fairy’s Time and Tide and included a very special birthday cake shared among auxiliary members.
“We thanked previous and current office bearers who steered the auxiliary into the position it’s in today and paid tribute to those members who have passed away,” Mrs Love said.
While less active than it once was, over the years the group has been a major driver of brigade fund-raising, from firefighting equipment to station television sets.
“Our objective is to support the fire brigade,” Mrs Love said.
“We undertake fund-raising for equipment and also organise or assist in social functions.
The auxiliary has also catered for dinners and functions, training exercises and local and state championships that have been held in Warrnambool.
“Over the years have assisted in preparation of mealsand manning the station in emergency situations such as theAsh Wednesday fires andother big fires,” Mrs Love said.
“On Ash Wednesday the auxiliary’s members even went into the station and manned radios and prepared meals for firefighters out in the field.”
While tighter regulations have curtailed some of the auxiliary’s previous work, fund-raising has continued with the group helping to supply GPS systems, fire hoses and other equipment to the brigade. The group has alsoheldfund-raising events to help fit out new brigade buildings and donated to other causes.
Boasting more than100 members over its history, the auxiliary held its first meeting on November 14, 1955.
”We’re more of a social group now,” Mrs Love said.
“We still meet monthly.”
“Most members have a fire brigade connection but not all andit’s not essential.”
Mrs Love found her way into the auxiliary through husband Daryl, a career firefighter who was in charge of the Warrnambool station for about two decades. “I couldn’t help but be involved,” she said with a laugh.
“I was probably on the fringes of it as a child as my family was involved and then it increased.”
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