On Friday November 2, 37 members and friends of the Rainbow Fire Brigade were present at the annual CFA Dinner. The evening began with a lovely meal catered by the CFA Ladies Auxiliary.

Speeches took place between entree and main, with one from District 17 Operations Manager Craig Brittain and one from Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) Vice President Cameron Whelan.

A toast to the CFA was given by Greg Roberts to which Mr Brittain responded.

“I can remember standing up here last year with a simple message that will continue for years to come,” Mr Brittain said.

“We’re currently in caretaker mode due to the election,” he said.

“We all love our communities and we need to make sure what we do for our communities counts.

“It’s not what you do for the brigade, or the CFA, it’s what you do for your community.

“We are a volunteer organisation, but we should be proud of our uniform and the CFA organisation.

“I’m proud to be a staff member of the CFA and to help where I can. Congratulations on what you do.

“We’re moving into a hot dry spell and the Bureau of Meteorology have forecasted a bad season. I tend not to listen to them too much, you people are much more aware of the weather situation locally.

“Farmers are the backbone of our communities and we need to look out for them.

“You are what makes the CFA. I’m proud of all of you and you should be proud too,” Mr Brittain said.

A toast to the VFBV was then given to which VFBV Vice President Cameron Whelan responded.

“Thank you to the fire brigade for the invitation to attend tonight. I always enjoy coming here as it’s a terrific event,” Mr Whelan said.

“As everybody’s aware, we’ll have changes at some stage but the VFBV but with your constructive suggestions, improvements can be made to the CFA through the VFBV.

“Keep up the great work. We’re here to represent you.”

Between main and dessert, several CFA Service Awards were handed out as well as a National Medal by Operations Manager Craig Brittain and Rainbow Brigade Captain Fred Saul.

Adrian Bennett received a 15 year service award after joining the CFA in 2003. Adrian has served as Secretary, Treasurer since 2005 and 3rd Lieutenant since beginning at the brigade. It was mentioned that Adrian is an incredibly reliable member of the Rainbow brigade.

Shirley Cross received a 35 year service award after joining the Auxiliary in 1983. She became a brigade member in 2016.

Raymond Cross received a 45 year service award after joining the Pigick Brigade in 1969 and served as a 2nd and 3rd Lieutenant. He moved to the Rainbow Brigade in 1979 and is a regular member who attends the Sunday morning gatherings, regular barbeque cooker, and does a lot of running around when there’s a big fire.

Greg Roberts then received the National Medal, First and Second Clasp.

Greg responded by stating, “I do it because I want to, not because I have to.”

The National Medal was instituted by Letters Patent granted by Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, on February 14, 1975.

Its purpose is to enable Her Majesty to honour those who have served in the Australian Police forces, Australian Fire Services, Protective Service, Australian Correctional Services, Australian Emergency Services and other approved voluntary organisations.

The award by Her Majesty to Fire Service members is for diligent service for a period of 15 years.

Members who have previously been awarded the National Medal in recognition of 15 years of diligent service.

Each 10 year period is recognised by the presentation of a clasp in the form of a narrow bronze bar that has 10 raised circular markings symbolising 10 years of service. Each clasp award is worn as an attachment to the ribbon of the National Medal.

Greg also received a 45 year service award. He joined the Rainbow Brigade in 1973. Since he joined, Greg has taken on many roles in the brigade including: 3rd Lieutenant, Captain, 2nd Deputy Group Officer (DGO), 2nd Lieutenant, 1st DGO, VFBV delegate, Safety Officer, and Group Safety Officer.

Rainbow Fire Brigade Captain Fred Saul then congratulated all the award recipients and thanked Craig for presenting the awards.

Congratulations to all who received an award and thank you to all for continuing to keep the community safe.


District 17 Operations Manager Craig Brittain (right) congratulates Greg Roberts (left) on his CFA National Medal.
Rainbow Fire Brigade Captain Fred Saul, National Medal recipient Greg Roberts and District 17 Operations Manager Craig Brittain.