Mayor's Message - 15 January - Vale Bill Slade
This week, our community mourns the loss of Mr Bill Slade. Bill was firefighting on the East Gippsland fire front. He was helping to contain a fire near Omeo on Saturday 11 January, when he was tragically killed by a falling tree. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Bill's loving wife Carol, and children Steph and Ethan.
Bill's passing will hit the hearts of many in Bass Coast and South Gippsland. He was much loved and was actively involved in making our community a better place.
Those who knew Bill know how well respected he was, and that he always had time to help out a neighbour or a friend – indeed it was these qualities that led to his service as a firefighter and his heroic actions in East Gippsland.
In November last year, Bill was presented with his 40 years of service recognition to Parks Victoria. Bill started working for the organisation when he was 17, and over the years his care for our national parks and local environment has made them what they are today. He was instrumental in the fox eradication program on Phillip Island and helped to fight the Ash Wednesday fires in the 1980s. When we enjoy our local environment, waterways and parklands, we can do so thanks the work of Bill.
Bill was recently made a life member of the Kilcunda-Bass Football Netball Club, another example of his dedication to our community. I know that Bill made a significant contribution to this club, through his actions as a player, coach and volunteer, and also culturally through his encouraging and friendly approach.
Bill was known as a mentor and role model to many. He will always be remembered for his dedication to the community of Bass Coast and South Gippsland, his helpful manner and capability, and his willingness to lend a hand.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our local firefighters and volunteers who have selflessly lent their skills, time and services to the recent and current bushfires. Without you, we would simply not manage.
It was heart stopping to see the alerts coming through relating to a grass fire in Grantville last week. Thanks to the fast and thorough actions of our local emergency services and volunteers, this emergency was controlled and managed quickly and to the highest standard. Well done, and thank you for all that you do to keep our community safe and strong.