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Kurnell Rural Bush Fire Brigade

The first bush fire brigade in Kurnell was a small horse-drawn tender driven in the 1920s by local horse taxi driver, Mr Beaumaker, with his wife as his assistant. Unfortunately there are few records. Floods during the 1974 storms left a foot of water in the headquarters: the cupboard in which the records were kept filled with water and despite futile attempts to save them they were beyond salvage. Fortunately, Nick Boes, one of the members of the Brigade from 1958, is proud to tell of their efforts. Kurnell Bush Fire Brigade was regarded as one of the best in the state. It was held up as an example for others in Sutherland Shire. It has an impressive record of Firsts. Kurnell Bush Fire Brigade rewrote the fire-fighting constitution. It banned members from wearing inadequate footwear and introduced mandatory boots and overalls for all its fire fighters. Intense community support and fund-raising allowed them to purchase a GMC 6 wheel-drive Army truck that they rebuilt and equipped specifically for their purpose. This truck was the pride of Kurnell, and the State Bush Fire Bulletin acknowledged it as such in a lengthy article that detailed and praised the Brigade's efforts.
Kurnell's pride, after commissioning in August 1966: left to right, Tony Unt (captain), Kon Phillips (in driver's seat), Nick Boes (senior deputy captain), Frank Dixie and John Stenner.  (Photo: Nick Boes)
Rear view of bush fire tender. (Photo: Nick Boes)
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