Yarroweyah Country Fire Authority volunteers were recognised for long service.TONI BRIENT January 16, 2014 11:31am
Decades of dedication: (from right) Les Chandler, Ken Black, Ed Reilly and Andrew Jobling have been recognised for long service to Yarroweyah CFA.
When you ask the older brigade members at Yarroweyah Country Fire Authority why they’ve served for so long, they seem a bit confused.
Les Chandler, Ken Black and Andrew Jobling said they had never considered the alternative.
Yarroweyah captain Les Chandler has spent more than half a century as a volunteer firefighter.
The former dairy farmer joined Yarroweyah CFA in 1976, after serving in a brigade in Gippsland for 14 years.
‘‘It’s one of those things; the comradeship in the brigade, and we have a lot of fun and enjoyment,’’ Mr Chandler said.
‘‘It’s hot, hard work at times, but we still manage to come out laughing.’’
For Mr Chandler, the most memorable exercise was the 2003 North East and Gippsland Floods.
‘‘We fought in this area and then we went to Gippsland,’’ he said.
‘‘We were flown from Shepp (Shepparton) down to Orbost.’’
Ken Black has served in the Yarroweyah brigade for 45 years, after joining aged 21.
‘‘I joined up because my father was in it — he was the secretary of the fire brigade — and it sort of lead from there,’’ Mr Black said.
The Third Lieutenant said he’d seen a lot of change in the brigade over the years, including the machinery it used before the current tanker trucks.
‘‘I can remember getting trailer units — that’s what we had originally,’’ he said.
‘‘Then we progressed to a truck, and built the first part of the shed we’ve got now, behind the hall.’’
Andrew Jobling said he also remembered when the new station was built during the ’70s.
‘‘Our (old) station had a tin roof with no walls at a dairy farm just down from the football ground,’’ Mr Jobling said.
Mr Jobling was brigade captain during the ’80s and ’90s, and has held lieutenant and group officer ranks.
He has been part of the Yarroweyah brigade for 45 years.
‘‘Actually, I was pushed into it,’’ he said.
‘‘A chap who lived over the road .
‘‘I always loved the brigade; the volunteer side of it.’’
Mr Black said he was pleased to watch the impact the brigade’s action had on the community.
‘‘We’ve been to floods and fires,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s house fires and hay shed fires and hay fires.
‘‘I think we do a great deal.’’
But he said he thought there was one thing the locals might like to change.
‘‘The siren wakes people up in the middle of the night,’’ Mr Black said.
The facilitator of a new program to help empower women with a disability to become leaders in the community says it is time to stand up.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
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Race two of Kyabram’s Harness Racing meet, held at Echuca on Sunday evening, was declared a no-race when the Michael Bellman-driven Never Look Back fell with about 800m remaining.
Hundreds rose early for Dawn Services across the district on Saturday to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
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The Deniliquin Domestic Violence Liaison Committee hosted a community lunch at the ‘Rocket Park’ on Thursday to celebrate the launch of its new banner.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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