Lyle Dobbs and wife Margaret at their home where Lyle was presented with the National Medal Clasp and the SES Meritorious Medal Clasp to mark 35 years service.
Lyle Dobbs and wife Margaret at their home where Lyle was presented with the National Medal Clasp and the SES Meritorious Medal Clasp to mark 35 years service. Sharyn Oneill

Dobbs marks 35 years of service

YOU can measure Lyle Dobbs’s voluntary service to the Rockhampton community by seeing how many bars line his service medal.

The SES Meritorious medal marks 15 years’ service and each additional bar, of which there are now two, mark 10 years each.

But Mr Dobbs, 70, a founding member of the Rockhampton State Emergency Service (SES), prefers to mark his service by thinking of the close friends he has made.

In a ceremony yesterday he was presented with two bars or clasps: one to add to his National Service medal and another to add to his SES medal, both marking 35 years’ service.

Mr Dobbs’s story began in May 1975 when as a 35-year-old Ergon employee he saw an advertisement in the local paper asking for volunteers for the new SES which was to replace Civil Defence.

He was an amateur radio enthusiast and thought he could help in that area.

Starting out as a communications officer he moved to become group leader and then deputy local controller in 1991, during the floods, before taking over as Rockhampton unit controller in 1992.

The 1991 floods and the search for nine-year-old Keyra Steinhardt, who was raped and murdered by Leonard Fraser, left indelible marks on Mr Dobbs.

Through it all his wife of more than 50 years, Margaret, who was a volunteer between 1988 and 2002, has stood by him and said she could not be prouder.

“You do not do it for that (the medal). It’s nice to be recognised....but you do it for the community,” Mr Dobbs said.

Rockhampton Region SES controller Eddie Cowie said Mr Dobbs was a community stalwart who had not let anything stop him from contributing, despite being diabetic.

People who want to join the SES can call Emergency Management Queensland on 1300 369 003 or the Rockhampton Regional Council on 1300 225 577.

COMMUNITY STALWART

Age: 70 – lives in North Rockhampton

Began his service in the Rockhampton City SES in 1975

Rockhampton SES controller 1992 to 2008

Wife Margaret also a volunteer from 1988 to 2002



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