Com­mit­ment to cause nears 100 years

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Front Page - Shan­non Boch­enek

TWO of Man­jimup’s long­est-serv­ing fire and res­cue vol­un­teers are ap­proach­ing a com­bined 100 years of ser­vice.

For­mer cap­tains John Jonker and David An­der­son joined the bri­gade’s run­ning team in 1968 and 1969 and have not stopped since.

David de­scribed the run­ning team as “the com­pe­ti­tion side of the fire bri­gade”.

“You’ve got an old cart, and it’s got two big wheels on it,” John ex­plained.

“You’re run­ning against an­other town.

“You have a hose and you run down a track and it sort of peels off the back of the cart.

“Then you hook it onto a hy­drant and squirt it onto a disc, which gives you a time.”

The pair re­flected on the most mem­o­rable mo­ments as vol­un­teers and team­mates, of which there were many, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive.

“There was one old bloke that lived over the road,” David re­called.

“From the time the siren started un­til we drove out that door, he used to time us.

“And those Fre­man­tle and Kal­go­or­lie trips with the run­ning team, they were re­ally mem­o­rable,” David laughed.

In a more som­bre mem­ory, the men re­called at­tend­ing emer­gency res­cue sit­u­a­tions.

“A lot stay in your mem­ory, but you can’t af­ford to dwell on it be­cause you know the next one’s gonna be around the cor­ner,” David said.

John said on oc­ca­sion those they helped had writ­ten in af­ter­wards and ex­tended thanks or said “job well done,” and it was al­ways great to hear.

“I think it’s a great or­gan­i­sa­tion to be in,” John said.

“Just help­ing the com­mu­nity is the main thing.”

The men said most years the bri­gade re­ceived be­tween 70 and 75 call outs, with most of the vol­un­teers av­er­ag­ing be­tween eight to 10 hours of ser­vice each month.

At an award cer­e­mony in 2017 John and David both re­ceived badges recog­nis­ing their of­fi­cial 45 years of ser­vice with the 67-year-old bri­gade.

John and David’s awards con­trib­uted to the to­tal 205 years of ser­vice recog­nised on the night.

The pair said the bri­gade was al­ways wel­com­ing of new mem­bers and said with a half a cen­tury un­der their belts they would now play a largely men­tor­ing role.

“We’ll prob­a­bly pull back a lit­tle bit, a lot of the young guys will come up now,” John said.

“We’ll give them our knowl­edge and try and help a bit and then sort of let them get on with it.”

There was one old bloke that lived over the road... From the time the siren started un­til we drove out that door, he used to time us. – David An­der­son

Pic­ture: Shan­non Boch­enek

David An­der­son and John Jonker be­came in­volved in the Man­jimup Vol­un­teer Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice in 1969 and 1968, both will soon cel­e­brate half a cen­tury each of con­tri­bu­tion.

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