The original Gympie Fire Station. Photo credit Queensland FIre and Emergency Services. Date of photograph is unknown.
The original Gympie Fire Station. Photo credit Queensland FIre and Emergency Services. Date of photograph is unknown.

Gympie Fire Station prepares to celebrate 80th birthday

ON Monday, August 24, the Gympie Fire Station, Queensland's oldest operational fire station, turns 80.

The station was built during the Second World War in 1940 for $7000 pounds - worth about $530,000 today.

Gympie fire station haunted by former fireman Henry (Mick) Bennetts

It was opened on August 24, 1940, by the Minister for Health and Home Affairs, Mr E.M Hanlon.

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The original Gympie fire station. File photo
The original Gympie fire station. File photo

Being Minister for Home Affairs it was in his portfolio to manage the formation of Air Raid Wardens for Queensland's defence.

About 171 people applied for the positions, with 135 completing the course.

Being the most predominant building on the hill with a 360-degree view without obstruction, it was a perfect choice and an air raid siren was added.

The war also played its part in the construction of the building. It was designed to have a corrugated iron roof but that was confiscated by the army and a bond wood roof was installed, but the wood was prone to leaks. As a result the builder was refused full payment.

Gympie firefighters Andrew Bear, Tony Wildman and Grant Nelson at the Gympie fire station.
Gympie firefighters Andrew Bear, Tony Wildman and Grant Nelson at the Gympie fire station.

The actual formation of the Gympie Fire Brigade occurred in November 1900.

To celebrate the 80th birthday there's an open day/birthday party taking place next Monday, August 24, at the Gympie station.

Gympie fire fighters (L-R) John Whiting,Graham Alder (at station since 1963) and Grant Nelson outside the heritage listed fire station. Pic John Wilson
Gympie fire fighters (L-R) John Whiting,Graham Alder (at station since 1963) and Grant Nelson outside the heritage listed fire station. Pic John Wilson
Gympie Times


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