The Hills State Emer­gency Ser­vices (SES) Awards

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Local Heroes - by Bev Jor­dan

There was a lot to cel­e­brate last week when a tide of or­ange over­alls swept into Hills Shire Coun­cil.

A spe­cial func­tion was held to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of The Hills State Emer­gency Ser­vices and also thank vol­un­teer mem­bers for their ser­vice. Keith Grant, 82, was given a 50 year ser­vice ward for ded­i­cated ser­vice. A teacher, he joined the SES when he moved to Baulkham Hills.

“We were fairly new in the area and I wanted to make a con­tri­bu­tion, I thought the emer­gency ser­vices was a fine way to do it,” he said. “I was al­ways a do it your­self kind of per­son.”

Neil Gall, 76, is the next long­est serv­ing mem­ber of The Hills SES with 44 years ser­vice. “I wanted to get in­volved in the com­mu­nity. “I was liv­ing in North Rocks and read about the SES in the pa­per. “In those days we only 20 mem­bers now there are 150 on the books. “Things have changed.” “It’s fan­tas­tic or­gan­i­sa­tion it’s com­mu­nity minded. The train­ing is very good. “ Mr Grant said it was great to see all the younger mem­bers, the fu­ture of the SES.

Spe­cial guests on the night in­cluded Mitchell Fed­eral MP Alex Hawke, Cas­tle Hill MP Ray Wil­liams and Berowra Fed­eral MP Ju­lian Leeser.

Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne said the 50th an­niver­sary was an “im­pres­sive mile­stone”

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to the many vol­un­teers who make up the unit – ev­ery hour you give of your own time to our com­mu­nity con­trib­utes to mak­ing a real and very valu­able dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives.

“A spe­cial thanks to the Lo­cal Con­trollers and their deputies, past and present whose lead­er­ship and guid­ance has en­sured our unit is one of the best in the State. “

“Last year, The Hills ex­pe­ri­enced a num­ber of se­vere storms which dam­aged homes, cars and prop­erty. The Hills SES was fully op­er­a­tional day-in and day-out with more than 1800 re­quests for as­sis­tance dur­ing this time. “

Eric Maronese, Deputy com­mis­sioner SES NSW Greg Newton and Cur­rent SES Con­troller The Hills, Eve­lyn Lester

SES vol­un­teers Brian Wardrop, Julie Aspinal, Richard White and Danielle Boul­ton

Cur­rent SES Con­troller Eve­lyn Lester with for­mer con­trollers Eric Maronese (1980 to 1988) and Barry McDon­nel (1970 to 1978) Awards were pre­sented to:

SES vol­un­teer Mal­colm Lis­ton, Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne and Mitchell Fed­eral mem­ber Alex Hawke

Eve­lyn Lester with Greg Wilkin­son Train­ing Co-or­di­na­tor and Clr Reena Jethi

Peter cinque re­gional con­troller Western Syd­ney, Cas­tle Hill MP Ray Wil­liams, SES vol­un­teer Graeme Cleary, Berowra Fed­eral MP Ju­lian Leeser and Supt John Ho­jel RFS Dis­trict Man­ager

Vol­un­teers Neil Gall, 44 years ser­vice and Keith Grant, 50 years ser­vice

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