Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Bill, 84, Has Put out His Final Fire

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Bill, 84, Has Put out His Final Fire

Article excerpt

BILL BERRY was very understanding when his colleagues at the Rural Fire Service asked him to stop joining them when they went out to fight fires.

He was, after all, in his 80s and had been at it for 60-odd years.

aThey reckoned I was getting too old, and I don't blame them,a he said yesterday.

But it was only this month that Mr Berry stepped down as president of the Sextonville brigade of the RFS, aposition he had held for 17 years.

Mr Berry, who was born in Casino and has lived ever since on the family farm at Doubtful Creek, joined the service when he returned from the Second World War.

At the outbreak of war he had the opposite situation to today's a he was too young. But as an 18-year-old he signed up in 1944 and was sent to Air Defence Headquarters in North Queensland. Somehow he ended up patrolling the coast, ready to defend it in case of a Japanese invasion.

aThey were close, all right. At night we could see lights on the islands off the coast. …

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