IN DECEMBER the Heathcote Fire Brigade presented awards for outstanding service at their Christmas Tea. All of the awards were presented by Operations Officer Chris Jacobson from District 2.
The awards went to John McGillivray for 55 years of service, Carole Watkins for 30 years, Colin Thompson for 30 years, Jim Jowett Jnr for 25 years, Arthur Waterhouse for 25 years, Ann Sales for 10 years and Melissa Vejby for five years.
Mr McGillivray, in particular, has been a long-time servant of the brigade, but said the award only meant one thing. “It’s a sign that I’m getting old,” he said.
Mr McGillivray said he was always destined to join to fire brigade from an early age.
“My father did it for 40 years so I have been around the brigade for as long as I can remember, and joined when I was 18.”
The Heathcote local said it’s a tough job and any firefighter has to be prepared to take the good with the bad.
“There are some tough days, as you can imagine, but there are some good ones too, the camaraderie and the mates that you meet.”
McGillivray said he plans to continue his work for the fire brigade for as long as possible.
“I’ve got my pager on me now, it never stops.
“It is handy to have someone like me who has been local for so long — I guess I know the roads and the surroundings pretty well.
“I think I can be of some use for a while yet.”