Bird Ronald

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21st October 2015

Good Afternoon

My name is Raelene Denham and I am a member of St John Ambulance Australia and the Most Venerable Order of St John.

Today we join with you to mourn the passing of Ronald Arthur Bird, former Superintendent of the Gawler Combined Division of St John Ambulance Australia who felt the challenge to use his talents in this avenue of humanitarian service.

Service to St John Ambulance Australia is quite voluntary, calling for self-sacrifice, for study and for the willingness to give immediate response to every call for assistance.

Although I didn’t know Ron all that well he was a colleague whose paths used to cross in the line of duty with the St John organisation.

Ron joined St John as a private in 1946 with the Gawler Division. In due course he was promoted to Corporal, then Sergeant, Divisional Officer and in 1983 he was promoted to Divisional Superintendent of the Division. He held that position for 5 years and retired from St John in 1988.

The Gawler Division covered many duties, which included local football, Gawler trots, Gawler Show and many sporting events. Ron was always involved covering these duties and any other requests from other areas. However I would venture to say that his favourite involvement with the Division was working on the ambulances. Ron, like most of the volunteers on the ambulances in those days, would have his regular duty times either in the evenings or over weekends.

In 1958 Ron received the 12 year Service Medal which was followed by 4 Bars each representing 5 years of service. He was also awarded the National Medal in 1961 and a 1st and 2nd clasp totalling 35 years of service working on the ambulances. When Ron retired he had a total of 41 years of efficient service for St John Ambulance.

He was further recognised in 2008 when he was promoted to a Serving Brother of the Order of the Venerable Order of St John.

Speaking to a retired officer about Ron, she was telling me that when they were working on the new building at Gawler she drove up to the centre for a meeting. For some reason the area was in darkness. She continued driving forward thinking there must be a blackout and suddenly found herself and her car in a pit. The only way out was for Ron to go back to his garage and get his tow truck to pull the car out. That certainly was a different start to a St John meeting.

We remember Ronald Arthur Bird’s loyalty to St John Ambulance Australia and his earnest desire to give for the benefit of others.

We offer our deepest sympathy to the family, we thank you for you for your support and pay our tribute and respect to the memory of our departed brother.

May he Rest in Peace.


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