Jimboomba farewells long-time fire servant Bernie Savage on emotional day as guard of honour lines the streets

Local legend: Jimboomba farewelled Bernie Savage on Wednesday.

Local legend: Jimboomba farewelled Bernie Savage on Wednesday.

Jimboomba's emergency services personnel lined the streets on Wednesday to farewell a firefighting stalwart and hero of the town.

Bernie Savage was a long-time captain of Jimboomba and Greenbank stations.

Bernard Savage was born in Sydney in 1953. He, wife Marilyn and his family moved to North Maclean in 1985 while working for tractor company Massey Ferguson. He worked for the firm for 45 years.

Bernie became involved with the fire brigade after helping a man put out a grass fire on Beaudesert Road in 1990.

"He promptly signed up and so began a passion that would last the rest of his life," brother Gerard told mourners at Jimboomba Community and District Hall.

"He was very proud to be appointed the first captain of Jimboomba's Auxillary Brigade in 2005 and was equally devastated when, at 65, he was required to retire his position."

Bernie joined the Greenbank Rural Fire Brigade as a volunteer firefighter shortly after his retirement from Jimboomba.

My heart exploded with gratitude ... I was so proud of Dad

Anna Savage

"His two crowning achievements in his service was receiving the top fire service honour, Australian Fire Service Medal in 2009 and being selected as a torch bearer in the Commonwealth Games Queen's baton relay in 2018," Gerard said.

Retirement from Massey in 2020 brought little rest for Bernie.

"He spent many days over the past few months at parks, weekend sporting events, fishing and camping as well as continuing to volunteer at the Greenbank Fire Brigade," Gerard said.

Bernie developed a love for travel. He and Marilyn visited 47 countries, collecting a flag and hat pin at each place.

"He and Marilyn had plans to travel to the Mediterranean this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately put those plans on hold," Gerard said.

"This, however, was also a blessing in disguise as it allowed him more time to spend with family."

Moving to Brisbane shifted Bernie's National Rugby League allegiances from Parramatta to the Brisbane Broncos, where he and Marilyn were season ticket holders.

His state allegiances never shifted from NSW come Origin time, Gerard said.

"Up the mighty Blues was always the call on Origin night and a Blues jersey was always worn," Gerard said.

"He truly believed it was the greatest game of all."

Bernie is survived by wife Marilyn and children Katherine, Mitchell and Anna. He had five grandchildren - Evelyn, Margaret, Gregory, Parker and Freddie.

Bernie's final resting place is at Bundaberg, alongside daughter Amy who died in 1982.

Daughter Anna said she was thankful for everyone who turned out for Bernie's funeral.

"My heart exploded with gratitude for everyone who was there," she said. "I was so proud of Dad."

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