IT'S not often that a person can act as a leader, a mentor and a friend in one, but Junee's Barry Smith was all that and more to many people.
Mr Smith, fondly known as Bazza to friends and family, passed away on March 28 at 79 years old.
A dedicated fireman of 25 years, Mr Smith's fellow Junee Fire and Rescue members have remembered his warm presence around the brigade.
"He was a top bloke to be around, always took control of the hard situations and kept the younger fellas safe," Junee's Acting Deputy Captain Dave Hedlund said.
Working at the station from 1976 and retiring in 2001, Mr Smith became somewhat of a mentor for Deputy Captain Hedlund, who began his own career with Fire and Rescue's Junee brigade in 1994.
He wasn't the only firefighter with fond memories of Mr Smith's guidance either, with the career running in the family.
"Barry's son Jarrod joined the same year as I did, retiring only after 20 years, and now his grandson Sean is also with us as of the past few years," Deputy Captain Hedlund said.
Mr Smith spent most of his time as Engine Keeper of the brigade, also participating in many Zone and State Demo Championships.
In a statement made on behalf of the Junee station, they said Mr Smith's "passion and knowledge of firefighting would be passed onto new firefighters, and [he] was someone young firefighters always looked up to".
"In his eyes, you were not just another firey, you were now family."
Family and friends are invited to a graveside service held at 11am on Wednesday, April 7, at Junee Lawn Cemetery, followed by a time to reflect and share stories of Mr Smith at the Junee Bowling Club.
Junee Fire and Rescue members, both serving and retired, are also invited to be at the station by 10:30am to attend in dress uniform and form a Guard of Honour.
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