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John recognised for 62 years of fire service

LONG SERVICE: John Harvey of Ashby shows off his honour for 62 years of dedication to the Ashby Rural Fire Service brigade.
LONG SERVICE: John Harvey of Ashby shows off his honour for 62 years of dedication to the Ashby Rural Fire Service brigade. Adam Hourigan

JOHN Harvey's service to rural firefighting is so extensive, they've run out of room on his service medal.

For 62 years, Mr Harvey has served with the Ashby Rural Fire Service in roles from truck driver right up to group captain, and said he treasures his time with the brigade.

"The brigade was formed in 1951, and I tried to join but they wouldn't let juniors in, so I left school in 1953 and joined when I was 16 or 17," he said.

"A lot of water's gone under and over the bridge since then," he laughed.

"Back in those days, we were so isolated, and you just followed your parents onto it. It was a challenge, but the greatest satisfaction is to get out there and do something that helps other people."

Mr Harvey has been honoured numerous times for his service, the highlight being awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal by the former governor of NSW, Marie Bashir. "When we first started with the bushfire brigade there was no one that kept track of these things, and one time later when I was hosting with Maclean Shire Council, they presented me with a tiny 25-year service medal I'd never seen before," he said. "It was a tiny little thing, but I treasured it. I treasure all those medals."

Mr Harvey was recognised by the local Rural Fire Service with 61 other members for their service, something that Mr Harvey said made him proud to see.

"I was proud to be with them, it brings warmth to your body to see the attitude of those dedicated members out there working for the community trying to build the brigade," he said.


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