Long-serving South West volunteers rewarded

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Bunbury SES members Chris Widmer and Malcolm Piggott were recognised for 40 years of service at a ceremony for WA volunteers.Picture: Jon Gellweiler
Camera IconBunbury SES members Chris Widmer and Malcolm Piggott were recognised for 40 years of service at a ceremony for WA volunteers.Picture: Jon Gellweiler Credit: South Western Times/Bunbury Herald

Six South West residents were recently recognised for years of hard work at the Volunteer Service Awards.

The ceremony in the gardens at Government House coincided with International Volunteer Day on December 5 as 53 volunteers were honoured from across the State.

Bunbury State Emergency Service unit members Chris Widmer, Malcolm Piggott, Daryl Bryden and Ian Axell were recognised for their long-service.

Mr Widmer is the unit manager and has been with the organisation since 1978.

“Initially I joined up because of a guy I was friends with through sailing,” he said.

Except for one year spent with the SES while living in Queensland he has been with the Bunbury unit ever since.

Mr Piggott also joined the SES in 1978 and has served with the Regional Department of Fire and Emergency Services vehicle team.

Mr Axell previously served as the unit’s manager and joined the unit in 1986, while Mr Bryden was recognised for 25 years of service.

Mr Widmer said he recognised giving up time was sometimes hard, but he encouraged everyone to volunteer where they could.

“Anyone who has good fortune to live in a community such as ours has an obligation to care for it,” he said.

“I’ve learnt a lot in my time and I now think I have a need to pass on that knowledge.”

Murray Halden was recognised for his ongoing commitment to the Eaton-Australind Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.

He was captain of the service for 10 years and has been involved for 40 years.

Within his role he has helped drive community engagement and was integral in the building of Freddy Fire Engine which promotes fires safety.

Collie’s David Allum’s work as a JP, as well as numerous roles in organisations such as the Lions Club and World Vision, saw him recognised.

The 79-year-old said he had always thought it was important to give back to your community.

“It’s one of those accolades that you appreciate because it shows you that people do recognise the work of volunteers,” he said.

“There are millions of volunteers out there and without them a lot of work would not get done.”

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