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Rhodes Fire Station

Recently, Greg McIlwaine lent photographs and documents from his family collection to be copied and added to Canada Bay Connections.

In 1914 Charles McIlwaine, who had been a fireman at Darlinghurst, bought land at Rhodes as the site for his family home. He founded the Rhodes Volunteer Fire Brigade which at first operated with a hand drawn fire hose. Charles’ son Vic later served as Captain of the Rhodes Fire Station while the position is currently held by his grandson, Captain Greg McIlwaine.

The photograph shows Rhodes firemen about 1930 on a no. 87 Willys-Knight fire engine. Captain Charles McIlwaine is seated in front alongside the driver. Local firm Rider & Bell Pty Ltd, of Cavell Street, Rhodes began manufacturing brass helmets for the NSW Fire Brigade in about 1942, after British helmets became unavailable.

McIlwaine Park at Rhodes is named after Charles McIlwaine commemorating his and his family’s remarkable service to the community across three generations.