The opening of the Victoria State Emergency Service museum on the 4th December 2011, located at the Craigieburn LHQ, was a fantastic milestone to a project that has taken numerous months of hard work by Craigieburn SES volunteers and friends – that went well beyond the call of duty – to produce an exhibition that reflects the story that is VICSES.
In front of the black plastic sheeting, that kept prying eyes away from the display, Controller Alan Ker spoke of his amazement at seeing his vision of a Craigieburn Museum come so spectacularly to life. Alan took great pleasure in presenting a Controller’s Commendation to Volunteer Peter Gornalle for his many hours of dedication and commitment in constructing the display cabinets. Next, Volunteer Shaun Tiernan, a driving force behind the establishment of the Museum, gave us an overview of how the museum started – from the original vision, various day trips to inspect items and continuous discussions throughout the project.
Of course, it would have been remiss of us to open the museum without the attendance of Brian Rickard, PSM, as he was foundation Regional Director of the Unit and the principal collector and custodian of the collection for many years. Those at the opening listened attentively to Brian’s thoughts, reflections and experiences in attempting to establish a VICSES museum comprising a collection that had taken over forty years to accumulate.
The dramatic pulling of a cord, supported by Plan B (two members manually drawing the curtain from behind), the black sheeting parted to reveal the product of many months of hard work, sweat and tears. The Museum was now officially open! However, there was one last unveiling to be completed before it was time for everyone to browse around – the name of the Museum. With the flick of a hand Brian – to his great surprise – unveiled the plaque entitled ‘Brian Rickard, PSM, Museum’.