Shirley Snowden has spent more than half her life as a volunteer with the Tinonee Rural Fire Service.
On Tuesday November 16, Shirley was recognised for her marathon 45 years of voluntary service in operational support of the brigade through administration, communications and catering.
Shirley, with her husband Bill who last year was awarded on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with an AFSM (Australian Fire Service Medal), joined the Tinonee RFS in May 1971 and are now both life members.
“Shirley’s dedicated contribution to the security and welfare of brigade personnel is exceptional, and one which has been discharged consistently over an extraordinary period of time,” David Lewers of Tinonee RFS said.
Tinonee RFS training officer Bert Bennett commented that, “Shirley is an excellent example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things for the community by supporting the local Rural Fire Brigade in their overriding mission to preserve human life and property”.
Shirley was presented with the Emergency Services Commemorative Medal in recognition of her meritorious service.
“I was absolutely thrilled. I knew there was something, but I didn’t know what. Bill said, ‘oh, it’s just a piece of paper’, then I got the plaque,” Shirley said.
“There are very few of the older members our age left now. They’re all new people and I don’t think they realise what we did back in those days! We had no equipment, of course. We had a tanker trailer in those days.”
Shirley says it has been an honour to serve the community she loves for so many years.