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Chelsea Celebrates 60 Years of Service

It's Party Time!


Remembering the first 60 years

What a fantastic night last night celebrating the 60th anniversary of Chelsea SES. Almost 150 people filled the old Chelsea Town Hall to mark this special occasion and to reminisce about the past 60 years of service to the community.


Our comemerative key rings that every guest received doubled as napkin rings

The front of the hall featured a display of the new and the old with our state of the art, Chelsea Rescue 2 standing proudly alongside a fully refurbished, 1960’s Civil Defence vehicle while inside the room, guests were treated to a display of equipment from a bygone era.


The sensational Stihl Chainsaws used in our table centre pieces

Whilst there were formal parts of the evening, including the launch of our commemorative booklet, Storms, Floods, Chainsaws and Sandbags and the presentation of a number of SES long service and unit awards, the night was all about entertainment and celebration.


Part of the display of old Civil Defence equipment


Just some of Chelsea SES's commendations and awards


The 60th anniversary cake


 Cutting the cake


All dressed and ready to go


Chelsea Rescue 2 showed the new in the old and the new display


The old Civil Defence vehicle that was part of the outdoor display


SES Chaplain, Major Arthur Ford  opened proceedings



MC Phil Wall welcomes the guests to the evening before a song

To kick off the night, MC Phil Wall had composed a song all about the SES and just what we as volunteers do which he performed to the tune of "There's no business like show business". After the song, it was tiome to remove his PPE and reveal his true dress code for the rest of the night all with a little help from fellow member, Evette.


 A whole new way of getting out of your PPE


MC and Chelsea volunteer member Phil Wall starts the evening with a song

MC for the evening, and Chelsea member Phil Wall said “Chelsea SES has been an integral part of this community, under various names since 1953 and is the solid foundation that we all revolve around. As volunteer members of the unit, we pass through over time, some stay for a short time and others stay for years. When an anniversary such as this arises, we are duty bound to recognise it and celebrate it for all of those that came before and will come in the future, not simply for those of us that happen to be passing through today”.


MC Phil Wall with Donna Bauer MP and Councillor Tamsin Bearsley from the City of Kingston


Surprise surprise, look who sent a message of congratulations


Big Arnie made a surprise appearence by video link

There were songs and video’s telling the story of what we do and why we do it, and even an international flavour, with a video message from none other than the terminator himself; Arnold Schwarzenegger. Big Arnie spoke about his appearance at the 50th anniversary celebrations and explained that although he said then; “I’ll be back”, he was unable to make it in person due to filming commitments but spoke about the fact that like Chelsea SES he too was in his 60’s now and that instead of I’ll be back, it was more like, “Awww; my back!”


Chelsea Controller Ron Fitch

Unit Controller Ron Fitch said in his speech, “When we look back over the past years of the unit, either as SES, or Civil Defence, the Chelsea volunteers have once again been represented in some of the most significant events this State, and indeed this Country have witnessed. The tragic rail crash of the Southern Aurora at Violet Town, the collapse of the Westgate Bridge, Cyclone Tracey and Cyclone Yasi. We have been there to support our CFA colleagues during Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday and the many floods that have so badly affected so many parts of our State over the years”.

"Governments of all persuasions and at all levels understand the value of what we do. They look at the facts and figures and assess where we can best be utilized to gain maximum worth from the recourse, the brain of the SES. Our communities also understand the value of what we do, but for different reasons, they see us as the people they can count on when things get tough and help is needed, the heart of the SES. And then there are the volunteers themselves; they also understand the value of the SES but for different reasons again; they understand that someone has to do it, they want to give back to their community, they want to help; they are the soul of the SES. This combination, when properly balanced, gives us the perfect result, the right mix of brains, heart and soul results in a unit to be proud of, filled with dedicated people, who although they may disagree from time to time on how or where or when things should be done; they still all agree on one common goal, to be there to help when help is needed."


Victoria SES CEO Mary Barry

Victoria  SES CEO, Mary Barry and Central Region Manager, Ray Jasper, handed out a number of long service awards to members for 5, 10 and 20 years of service to the SES and thanked them for the time and devotion that they had shown. Mary also made a point of thanking the partners and families of the Chelsea members because without their full support, our volunteers could not do what they do.


Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus with MC Phil Wall and the Bond girls, Ria & Evette



Massive thanks to the following:


Gary Sissons, for the sensational pictures.
Stihl Australia for their amazing mini chainsaws that were donated and used as part of the table centre pieces.
Aabco Corporate Events for donating all of our stage lighting for the event.
The Rotary clubs of Chelsea and Aspendale.
Chelsea Towing for transporting the Civil Defence truck to and from Craigieburn at no cost                                                                                  
City of Kingston Councillors, Tamsin Bearsley, David Eden & John Ronke
Jon Mol & Andrea Lees for their fantastic music
The staff and management of the Chelsea RSL and Jamax Catering
Extra special thanks to Chelsea member Ria Breider for so many things that she did so brilliantly!


MC' Phil Walls wife Maryann and daughter Kimba take to the dance floor

So, after 60 years, the speeches have all been said, the awards presented, the cake has been cut and the songs have been sung. A huge thank you to everyone involved in making the night the success it was and now we move forward to the next 60 years.


Prospective Chelsea volunteer member in the making

We can all only wonder what the next 60 years holds in store for Chelsea SES and its volunteer members, but one thing is for sure; whatever happens, Chelsea SES will be there, standing ready to meet all challenges head on and to be there, at your service, as always.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:24)