IT was a stellar occasion for nine Upper Hunter NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) volunteers at Quirindi on Saturday night.
With the official opening of the Liverpool Range Fire Control Centre (LRFCC) also taking place, 29 Long Service Medals were presented to district members in recognition of their commitment to their communities.
Among them was the late John Begg.
He received a Long Service Medal and 1st and 2nd Clasps for 35 years’ service as a member of the Blandford Brigade.
In an emotional moment, Mr Begg’s grandson accepted the posthumous award.
Three other Upper Hunter representatives boast more than 16 decades between them.
Stewart Cross, from Kingdon Ponds Brigade, picked up a Long Service Medal and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Clasps for 46 years’ service, while Collaroy Brigade’s Anthony Cavallaro took home a Long Service Medal and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Clasps for 57 years’ service.
Errol Bates was acknowledged with a Long Service Medal and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Clasps for 60 years’ service with the Bunnan Brigade.
A memorial garden was dedicated to local firefighters who died while firefighting, too.
During the ceremony, a Category 1 tanker was handed over to the Blandford Brigade, while Kelvin, Settlement and Warrah Creek brigades received Category 7 tankers.