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Celebrating Rex Hall’s life and legacy

There is a poem that is often recited at the end of a life: the dash between two dates. The first date represents the beginning of life; the second date, the ending. But the dates are not the most important component of the equation.

What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.

I think we can all agree that Rex Hall’s dash was a life well-lived and well loved.

We all knew different components of Rex’s life. Likely you knew stories that we don’t.

It was a special and moving experience for those who gathered on Saturday 15 July to hear stories from Rex’s unpublished memoirs, stories in his own words and conveyed directly from his memories.

Those who filled the Naracoorte Town Hall travelled through Rex’s life from his early years at Reeves Plains and One Tree Hill, his days of training lambs to pull him in a small cart as a child, his successes in showing prize rams and chrysanthemums at Royal Adelaide and Melbourne Shows, the family’s move to the Limestone Coast, through floods and fires, and of course his lifetime of dedication to the Country Fire Service.

Thank you to all those who played a part in celebrating Rex’s life

The words ‘thank you’ don’t begin to cover the appreciation we have for all who played a role in the memorial service to celebrate the life of father, family man, former lamb trainer, onetime Chair of the One Tree Hill school board, keen gardener, expert chrysanthemum grower, champion ram breeder, friend, colleague, mentor, historian, writer, and supporter, Rex Hall AFSM.

There are too many people to thank individually, and the acknowledgements to follow will inevitably omit someone we value.

We would like to thank the South Australian Volunteer Fire Fighters’ Museum committee and volunteers, Ms Alison Fraser, Mr Gary Haebich, Mr Matt Roberts, Mr Tony Hill and Mr Rob Sandford who opened the Museum and hosted visitors prior to the memorial.

We would like to thank Mr John Probert, Mr Brett Rumball and the CFS members and friends who helped set up the venue, welcomed and seated guests, and who joined us to pay their respects and share memories.

We would like to thank honoured guests Lucy Hood MP, Member for Adelaide, who represented the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Peter Malinauskas, and the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Mr Joe Szakacs; Mr Tony Pasin, Federal Member for Barker and Assistant Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure; Mr Nick McBride, Member for Mackillop; and CFS Deputy Chief Officer Georgie Cornish, who represented Mr Brett Loughlin AFSM, Chief Officer of the SA Country Fire Service.

We would especially like to thank the Country Fire Service and the CFS Foundation, who, under Gloria Berni’s leadership, made it possible to publish Rex’s final book, ‘Volunteer Fire Fighting in South Australia’.

To all those who couldn’t join us but sent messages, you were in our thoughts.

We thank those who led the day with words that moved us all: Mr Andrew Lawson AFSM, Mr Rob Sandford AFSM, Mr Stuart Stansfield, Ms Georgie Cornish, and Mr Jim Keatch.

We thank longtime family friend, Rosemary Gerhardy, who honoured us by playing Highland Cathedral on her bagpipes.

We thank Ms Jacqui Williams who kindly captured the spirit of the memorial.

Please browse through the gallery of Jacqui’s photos below to share in the memories of the day.