Ceremony to Dedicate the Wynnum Fire and Rescue Station Fire Brigade Bell
Thank you, Mr Ireland, for your kind words of introduction. I acknowledge the presence this morning of Minister Dempsey, the Member for Lytton, the Acting Commissioner, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
There are two encompassing features that make today’s commemorations particularly significant.
The first is historical. This bronze bell is important to the Wynnum-Manly region, and more widely, to our State. It was commissioned in 1922, which was a momentous year for Queensland as it was the same year the Upper House – or Legislative Council – was abolished. We became a unicameral State. We still use the Red Chamber for ceremonial events. It was a momentous day.
For over 90 years, the bell has chimed as a de facto metronome to life in the magnificent bayside suburbs; firstly, as a call-to-action for local firefighters; then, more peacefully, as a call to prayer at local churches and seminaries; and now, it will continue to mark time at the closest fire station to its original home, here at Wynnum.
The second important aspect of today’s ceremony is to acknowledge, with profound thanks, the heavy burden of those who serve our communities from day to day. Our State, and indeed our nation, owes a debt to our emergency services personnel.
Ladies and gentlemen, the reality is we all live in an unpredictable world. Sadly, it seems to be becoming increasingly unpredictable. Pertinently for Queensland, our existence is routinely punctuated by natural disasters, such as those that our State has endured over our recent summers of despair, if I may put it that way.
What keeps our communities together during these times is the unifying and unwavering efforts of those who choose, including through their vocation, to help others.
The two predominant aspects – historical recognition and service – are linked. By preserving the rich history, and the narrative of the spirit of service, of emergency services personnel, the community is, in some small way, trying to repay that debt – rebalance the ledger.
Publicly, I want to say how proud I am, as Governor, to acknowledge our paid and volunteer emergency services; it is heart-warming and a privilege.
I acknowledge the convening role the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has played in organising today’s commemorations, and the Capuchin Franciscan Friars and the Wynnum Manly Historical Society for their work restoring the bell.
As Governor, I have the honour, on behalf of all Queenslanders, of thanking all involved for preserving this significant piece of Queensland’s history. Your efforts are truly worthy of commendation. Thank you.