Deputy Captain Robert Maxwell of the Rural Fire Service NSW Glenbrook (Station 301) is the winner of the inaugural Rotary Emergency Services William (Bill) Peard Award.
Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Club conducted an impressive ceremony at Emu Plains Sports Club on Tuesday night to recognise emergency services volunteers in the area.
The award was struck in memory of late Bill Peard - the last charter member of Lower Blue Mountains Rotary and long-serving member and captain of the Glenbrook Fire Station.
Sixty special guests, volunteers, Rotarians and friends attended the Volunteers Week event and enjoyed wonderful stories of community service.
Bill Peard’s wife Joan and daughter Jenny were special guests at the function and took part in the official presentation to Robert Maxwell.
Deputy Captain Robert served in the Glenbrook-Lapstone Bushfire Brigade (now the RFS) until 1999 when he was employed as a Retained Fire Fighter with the then NSW Fire Brigade.
His award citation was presented by Captain Jason Goodhart of Fire & Rescue NSW Glenbrook who praised Robert’s selfless service to his community over many years.
Captain Goodhart said Robert had been involved in many incidents and received a bravery award for the Katoomba bushfires of December 2002. He had a vital leadership role in the more recent 2019/20 Blue Mountains bushfires. The Captian also pointed to Robert’s outstanding community service with Boy Scouts and Little Athletics, dating back to 1969.
Rotary president Michele Ellery chaired proceedings and reminded those present of Rotary International’s 116 years of service and vocational base in 210 countries around the world. She said it was very appropriate for special volunteers from a variety of vocational backgrounds to be recognised and rewarded by their peers.
A highlight of the evening was the announcement by International Service Director Peter Agar that Lower Blue Mountains Rotary has just been named as District 9685’s top club in support of The Rotary Foundation and END POLIO NOW fundraising!
Three other major awards were presented during the evening –
- Sean Moylan – recognised for service with the Rural Fire Service, Mt Riverview, since 2009 and plays a vital role in the administration of the station. Sean rendered outstanding volunteer service during the Black Summer of 2019/20 when he volunteered for five-day deployments to many parts of NSW.
- Barbara Wagstaff – after 24 years working on the enquiry counter at Penrith Police Station, Barbara is adding great value to her retirement years doing volunteer work for the NSW Police Legacy. Barbara maintains contact with the Blue Mountains group with contains 41 active legatees – with home visits and regular meetings. She organises all kinds of special support, lunches, Christmas parties and family activities.
- Craig Shaw – a volunteer member of the NSW SES Blue Mountains Unit since 2017, Craig is now Field Section Coordinator in charge of the depot at Faulconbridge which is home to a variety of SES vehicles and equipment. Some 180 Blue Mountains SES members from Woodford to Lapstone are managed by Craig. He is also a training coordinator for approximately 60 members of that group.