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A Life Membership is the highest honour any brigade can award to a past or present members.

The dates below indicate the years of service to CFA.

Horace Mickleburough
1948 - 1994
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Owen Coles
1978 - 1994

Horace (Horrie) and his wife Margaret (Meg) moved from country Victoria to Emerald in 1946. They opened the first Pharmacy in the area shortly after. Horrie joined the Brigade in 1948 and remained a member for the next 36 years until they both moved away from the area in 1982. He held the position of Secretary for nine years and Communications Officer for four years. Horrie was awarded Life Membership in 1975.

An outstanding contributor to Emerald Fire Brigade, Owen held the positions of Secretary, Aparatus Officer, Communications Officer and Lieutenant during his service. It is said that Owen almost single-handedly checked all the hydrants in Emerald twice a year! His direction on the fireground was always precise and detailed, he was awarded Life Membership in 1994.

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Frank Grattidge
1945 - 1970

Frank arrived in Emerald early in the 1930's as a painter and carpenter. He soon joined the fire services and was elected as Captain and held the position for a number of years. His observation skills in the forests were second to none. Unfortunatly in 1970 he passed away, with his ashes scattered over the town during a ceremony involving his beloved fire observation aircraft.

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Gus Ryberg
1945 - 2000

So much can be said about Gus and his contributions to the brigade and the greater township as a whole. His knowledge of the local bushland was unparalelled. He served as Captain of our brigade for six years from 1951-57. In 1989 we honoured him with Life Membership.

Ronald Jones
1965 - 1987

After transferring from Upper Ferntree Gully to Emerald, Ron worked his way from Lieutenant to Captain and then also to Deputy Group Officer for the Ranges Group, a position he held for twelve years. A posthumous National Medal recipiant, his passing was a great loss to the brigade and the township as a whole. The Ron Jones Memorial Shield was created in his honour and is presented to the Firefighter of the Year each awards night.

Graeme Legge OAM
1951 - Present

A highly respected member of the community, Graeme began his service with CFA in 1951. Since then, his strong leadership was recognised by the brigade and he was elected as Captain in 1974. Graeme has served the wider community as Mayor of Cardinia Shire and was appointed to the Order of Australia in 2003 for service to local government and the community of Emerald.

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William Richman
1961 - 1994

William (Bill) joined the brigade in 1961. He held the positions of Secretary and Communications Officer during his time with the brigade. He was awarded Life Membership along with a National Medal in 1993. Sadly, he passed away in 2018.

Anthony Fairbridge
1978 - Present

Tony joined the brigade in 1978 after moving to the area. Having a military background with the British RAF prior joining, he was able to use those diciplines on the fireground to keep the team together during incidents. This leadership was instrumental in his promotion to Communications Officer and then to Lieutenant. He was presented with a National Medal in 2001 and then Life Membership in 2002.

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Margaret Johnson
1985 - 2003

Marg's service began in 1985. Her enthuasim, poise and life experience made her a great member of the team. She held the positions of Secretary and Communications Officer. A highly respected member of our brigade, Margaret was awarded Life Membership in 2002. She sadly passed away in 2003.

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Ian Woodhouse
1978 - Present

Living in Emerald for over 40 years and being a plumber by trade, the knowledge of the local area is second to none. Ian has held the position of Lieutenant and Deputy Group Officer (Dandenong Ranges Group) during his membership. He continues to be a invaluable resource of information when on the fireground and an outstanding firefighter.

Paul Yandle
1985 - Present

Currently the Brigades longest serving Captain, Paul joined CFA in 1985 when he moved down from Benalla to the Dandenongs. He is considered one of the most influential members in the Brigades history having campaigned long and hard for a new Fire Station, which was delivered in 2010.  His passion for protecting the community has never wavered, just like his love of his Brigade and he hopes to continue his service for a long time to come.

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