On the evening of Saturday 15 September 2018, long-time member of the Canyonleigh Brigade Charlotte Stahl thought her catering duties were required following the Brigade’s all-day training event. As usual, Charlotte and husband Ron (a Life Member of the Brigade himself) went about setting up tables, BBQ, plates and getting food ready for the hungry brigade members.
To Charlotte’s surprise, Snr Deputy Captain Brett Bannerman stood up and asked Charlotte to join him in front of the Brigade. Charlotte, still wearing her apron, looked a little confused as to why she was being signalled out.
“Charlotte, we are actually here tonight to recognise your long time and unquestionable service and devotion to the Canyonleigh Brigade,” he said.
Brett went on to detail Charlotte’s history with the brigade over the thirty-plus years, her support of husband Ron, who was also the Brigade’s Captain and President, and the many roles and duties that she undertook over the years.
Raylene Linhart, representing RFS head office, joined Brett, awarding Charlotte her 30 year Long Service Medal, formally recognising her contribution to the brigade and the RFS. The medal was ceremoniously pinned to Charlotte’s RFS shirt (minus apron by this time) by Raylene to applause from the brigade members.
In her acceptance speech, Charlotte said that during her time in the RFS she has seen so many changes and improvements over thirty years.
“When I first started, women were very much used in support roles. Even though I can drive a truck, women weren’t allowed to,”
“This has now changed, and we now have an active role to play these days.” she added.
The RFS is certainly a part of Charlotte’s family focus, with her husband Ron and now grandson Jeremy all members of the Canyonleigh Brigade.