A Wagga man has added his voice to the chorus calling for Wagga's historic ambulance station to be returned to the community by the state government, and for him, this is personal.
"The ambulance station was my family home," said Father Tony Loth, a retired Catholic priest who now lives in Ashmont.
"I lived there for 16 years ... it's got a sentimental bond for me."
Father Loth was born in Wagga and spent his entire childhood in the now disused building on Johnston Street as the son of Wagga's second superintendent Mick Loth.
The family arrived in Wagga in 1927, just as land and funding were secured by local volunteers to construct a new station.
"My father arrived in Wagga and found this was the first task he had to face - to build an ambulance station," Father Loth said.
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The family of ten moved into the building upon its completion in 1929, and for 25 years the station served as their a home.
The youngest of eight, Father Loth spent his whole childhood in the building which he says was a hub for the community, attracting everyone and anyone in need of medical aid, and that didn't just mean people.
"People would often call at the station seeking some first aid - for pets as well as people I might mention," Fr Loth said.
"My father loved doing anything that could help people and I remember many a dog that had been hit by a car bought in.
"They would take it to the garage out the back and make a splint for its broken leg or whatever was called for. People were very involved."
Of life above an ambulance service, Father Loth said it came with its quirks.
The dwelling was an open-planned space mirroring the four-vehicle garage below, and had only two bedrooms. He said most of the children slept on enclosed verandahs - three older girls at the front and himself and two brothers on the rear.
"It's very dear to me as being a strange sort of home, but my home," he said.
Currently, the old building is in the hands of the state government, who opened a new Ambulance Station in Wagga in 2017. They say they are obligated to sell at market value - an estimated $1.25 million.
Last week, Wagga mayor Greg Conkey called for the building, which was built by the community and given to the state emergency service, to be returned to Wagga City Council at a reduced price, citing a "moral duty" to return the asset to its rightful owners, a call Father Loth has echoed.
"I very strongly feel that [they] received it for no charge and that they should give it back almost for free, maybe a token couple of dollars or something, so that it can still belong to the Wagga community," he said.
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