The Cockburn SES Christmas Party 2012 — our unit celebrates the year that was

On Saturday 8 December, Cockburn SES held its annual Christmas party! The area which normally houses vehicles and operational gear was transformed into a tinselled and sparkling Christmas affair with Christmas trees and party lights! Guests had a feast of gourmet barbequed meats and of course delicious vegies, provided by our great caterers. DJ Damage did what he does best, and following dinner guests bopped away to the tunes!

The Christmas party is a great time to reflect on and celebrate all that we have achieved throughout the year and the good times we have had, before we part for our annual break. 2012, the year that was, what happened this year?

A lot happened this year, almost too much to list but here goes; Drew Devereux became our new manager, Allison Lamb became deputy manager, Karen Brozek became training manager, Matthew Thomas became rescue leader, Nita Fried joined the unit and became adminstration officer (almost immediately!), Thomas Pryce-Howells became logistics officer, Tracey Crocker took on the role of storesperson, Steve Wells became team leader, Mark Elphinston and Paul Neville became deputy team leaders, Mark Elphinston and Janine Stevens were voted in as committee members, we gained 20 new members and we had some big awards for time served in SES: Alan Worrall 15 years, Beth Drayton 20 years, Steve Saat 10 years and Matt Thomas 10 years and Eddie Aiken 20 years.

What else happened?  We moved into our brand new 4 million dollar facility, we had a grand opening day which Mayor Logan Howlett attended, the Honourable Troy Buswell attended a private opening ceremony, Keith Drayton was a finalist in the Western Australian Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering award and won the Peter Keillor Award, Steven Crawford was nominated for the Youth Achievement Award, Drew Devereux and Matt Wall were recipients of the Queensland 2010-2011 Flood and Cyclone Citation, we won Goldfields Challenge, we attended the DFES Conference, Emergency Services Dinner and SES Awards night, we attended 3 camps, were trained in numerous courses, our new website and facebook page were set up, Cockburn Gazette ran a front page feature on us, we had severe storms in June and had an amazing turnout from our team members (they couldn’t have given more), our SES family was extended when Matt Thomas and Donna Thomas gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Alexander, Zoe Fisher will be married in just one week and lastly, we branched into a different kind of rescue and rescued a seagull, Brownie the dog and Bob the bobtail,  all were returned to their natural habitats safe and sound!

The Christmas party is also the time when we present the annual awards! This year our Member of the Year award was christened the ‘Drayton Shield’ in recognition of many years of amazing service by Keith and Beth Drayton. Congratulations to Matt Thomas on winning the inaugural Drayton Shield. Matt has been a member of our unit for nearly 10 years and this year has taken on the role of Rescue Leader. The award is in recognition of Matt’s outstanding efforts to help the unit develop a culture of professionalism, inclusiveness, efficiency and preparedness over the past year.

Congratulations also to Nita Fried and Linda McInnes on ‘Outstanding Newcomer Award’. Nita is awarded this in recognition of an outstanding first year of commitment and contribution to the unit. Nita has put an extraordinary amount of energy into supporting the unit anyway she can.

Linda is awarded in recognition of her outstanding commitment to operational duties throughout 2012. Linda has consistently made herself available for callouts and has displayed a vibrant positive attitude at all times.

Congratulations also to Beth Drayton on receiving life membership with Cockburn SES. Life membership is bestowed upon those members who have made such a huge contribution that we honour them as a member, even when they step down from duties and retire.  Members have to have contributed at least 15 years or more in the SES just to be considered for this prestigious membership. Life members, of course, have membership for life and many benefits, such as invitations to all our events.  Well done Beth, words can hardly express the contribution you have made to our unit and we appreciate it!

On a humorous note, congratulations to Allison Lamb on winning ‘The Dunny Seat Award’. This award is given to the member who has done the most ridiculous, funniest thing during the year!

Additionally, members also voted on the logo for the Cockburn SES T -shirt competition, results to be announced soon!

Finally, a big thank you to Allison for organising the Christmas party, Erica Honey for organising the decorations and to Kim Lewis and Sean McLaughlin for helping set up on the day!

Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year, a well deserved break and we look forward to seeing you in 2013!