Laurie Noonan Testimonial December 12th 2015.
|A gathering of about 100 people from Arcadia and neighbouring brigades paid tribute to Laurie’s commitment to the CFA and the Community for seventy years of service to the Arcadia Fire Brigade.
Laurie was born on December 28th 1927, so he is coming up eighty eight years of age. All his schooling was at the Arcadia State School which he attended for about eight years. He gained his Merit Certificate and left school at the age of fourteen years, which was quite the norm in those times.
After leaving school he worked on the family farm at Arcadia, where sheep, cattle and cropping were the main enterprises. This was at the time of World War 2 so there were few if any tractors on farms. Laurie would work six and eight horse teams to prepare the ground for sowing and then harvesting the crops.
The Arcadia Fire Brigade was formed in 1935. Laurie’s father Mick Noonan was a foundation member of the brigade, holding various positions in the insuring years. The most prominent being that of Secretary/Treasurer of the brigade, a position he held for thirty six years until his passing in 1981. Laurie grew up with the ethos of the local fire brigade running through his veins. The only fire fighting equipment of the brigade in the early days were water knapsacks and fire-beaters.
The CFA was established in 1944 following the disastrous fires of 1939 and 1944. The following year in 1945 Laurie became an official member of the CFA when he joined with the local Arcadia Fire Brigade. During the following years he served as Apps. Officer for nine years and 2nd Lieut. for nineteen years. In 1989 Laurie was elected as Secretary/Treasurer of the brigade, his comment following was ” that because of his other commitments he would do it until the next election”. However following in the footsteps of his late father he has held the position ever since, that now being twenty six years served with distinction. At this time Laurie was taking a prominent role in the Shepparton Youth Club, the Indoor Bowls Association, as well as being a keen old time dancer. Laurie was the main organiser of the old time dances that were run over many years to raise funds to purchase equipment for the brigade.
The Hon. Jane Garrett who is the Minister for Emergency Services and also Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation in the Victorian Government made the journey from Melbourne to congratulate Laurie on this milestone, she presented him with a Certificate of Achievement from the Victorian Government. Peter O’Keefe who is now Assistant Chief Officer CFA for the Western Region of Victoria and until recently lived in the Arcadia area, presented Laurie with the CFA Life Member Medal and the Outstanding Service Medal for seventy years service to the CFA. Ray McManus the Arcadia Fire Brigade Captain presented Laurie with the Brigade Life Member Medal. Karreen Lucas a member of the Arcadia Brigade presented Laurie with a framed certificate from Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth acknowledging Laurie’s achievement.
Laurie thanked everyone for making this day a memorable one in his life.