Robe Mayor paid tribute at SAVFFM memorial service

Robe Mayor Peter Riseley and Liberal Member for MacKillop Nick McBride attended the memorial service for SA Volunteer Fire Fighter Museum in Naracoorte on April 7.

CEO of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council Stuart Ellis was a keynote speaker. Mr Ellis paid tribute to those that had lost their lives.

Chairman Rex Hall told the Leader that the CEO paid tribute to specific people.

“Mr Ellis paid tribute to the eight volunteers that lost their lives in Wandillo fire on April 5, 1958. There were a number of relatives of the family that attended,” Mr Hall said.

The chief officer of the CFS was also at the memorial service and spoke, thanking the volunteers and their families for their contribution while recognising those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Mr Hall also told the Leader what those who attended could take away from the service and what they might learn after listening to various stories.

“It was a very moving ceremony with bagpipes lowering the flags by the cadets from Keith. I think everybody paid tribute and laid wreaths and recognised the service that the volunteers had given.”

There were three mayors of councils as well as the local MP at the service. The mayors laid a wreath each on behalf of their councils.

Mr Hall told the Leader that the cameraderie between all agencies was excellent to see at the memorial service.

“There were police, SES, CFS, CFA and all agencies were represented. It was a feeling of unity not just for the CFS but for everybody else that was there. We united an emergency service organisation.”

Robe Mayor Mr Riseley told the Leader about his enlightening experience at the service and what he found most interesting about the stories that were told throughout, laying a wreath to show his respects.

“It was a glorious but unusually warm day,” Mayor Riseley said. “A moving service with a range of speakers well versed and respectful to the day.

“I was surprised to learn of the loss of lives involved in the Wandillo forest fires were in 1958; eight employees of the then Woods and Forests tragically were taken.”