Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Two long serving Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) volunteers of Bowen have been recognised for their outstanding and lasting service and legacy.
For Arthur and Robyn Burrell, signing up for the Bowen Rural Fire Brigade was a quick decision, following a short community meeting close to two decades ago.
“Arthur has lived here all his life, and we figured it was high time to get involved and help out where we could,” Robyn said.
“To this day we might be the only couple who have been silly enough to do this together!”
Completing a vast range of tasks throughout their time with the Bowen Rural Fire Brigade, the Burrell’s have volunteered through fires, floods, traffic accidents, and even volunteered with the PCYC’s Braking the Cycle program, assisting youth gain their drivers licence.
Having retired from the post of actively assisting in emergencies, Robyn and Arthur have signed up as Treasurer and Secretary of the Bowen Rural Fire Brigade, while assisting home base during emergencies, which includes keeping volunteers and staff well-fed and hydrated.
Robyn remembers when Arthur first picked up the tongs and got behind the barbeque to feed more than 40 QFES volunteers and staff who were fighting a fire that lasted five days.
“We were stationed at a homestead preparing food over an old camp barbeque around the clock for crews who were rotating through the blaze,” Robyn said.
“It was in the season when everything was tinder dry, and the fire was started with a machine blade skimming a small stone. In those conditions, it is easy to imagine how such a small thing could start a community emergency.”
Robyn and Arthur are being formally recognised for their commitment, with the QFES Australia Day Achievement Award, with a special ceremony that occurred on Thursday.
Robyn and Arthur Burrell, with their lasting legacy to the Bowen community. Photo supplied