2012FEB161502.24

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    Ash Wednesday 29 years on
    "... Ash Wednesday, February 16th 1983, saw fires of terrible speed and ferocity in several parts of Victoria that claimed some sixty-nine lives. The Cockatoo fire is the one most well remembered in Panton Hill. Tragically, five of the Brigade were trapped in a narrow forest track in Upper Beaconsfield when the wind turned, and died when their tanker was overrun by flames. With them the six member crew from Narre Warren suffered the same fate.

    A memorial park in the centre of Panton Hill township gives tribute to their service and provides a venue for concerts and other social activities, reminding us not only of the sacrifice of those men, but also of the central role the Brigade has played over the years in bringing the community together.

    And on the end wall of the station, at right angles to the long row of pegs on which we hang our yellow helmets and wildfire clothes, our blue structure jackets, there is a polished plank of rich-grained wood that bears five empty pegs. They are wrought from aged iron spikes and each has a simple plaque with a name:

    Maurice Atkinson Stuart Duff Neville Jeffrey Bill Marsden Peter Singleton.

    There are brigade members still who knew those men as friends and others, perhaps the majority now, who did not: we all remember them. ...." [0]

    You can read more about it here

    [0] Panton Hill Rural Fire Brigade, "A Short History of the Panton Hill Brigade "
    pantonhillcfa.com.au/home/index.php?option=com_content&am...

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