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Long serving SES controller Greg Perry steps down

Wednesday July 16, 2014 - 12:58 EST
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Greg Perry, retiring Hunter region SES controller. - ABC

A man who has dedicated 50 years of his life to helping the Hunter community when disaster hits is retiring today.

Greg Perry has been the Hunter region controller for the SES since 2005, but began volunteering for the organisation in Wyong when he was just 13-years-old.

Mr Perry says it has been an extraordinary career and has paid tribute to his many SES colleagues.

He says the event that has stayed with him above all others was the 'Pasha Bulker' storm that hit Newcastle and the Hunter Valley in 2007.

"That would be the biggest event I've had to work through and I was only a small part of that," he said.

"We started off with the boat (the coal carrier, Pasha Bulker) coming onto Nobbys Beach, then we went through the storm, then the flooding.

"Then we went on for 19 days after that which was just in re-supply for people who were cut off in the Wollombi area and a lot of low-lying farmlands.

"That was the second biggest event in the history of the State Emergency Service, next to the Sydney hailstorm.

"The other event, whilst I didn't go to it, we had a fair of coordination to do with it, was when we sent our volunteers to Thredbo.

"They were working on the side of that mountain where the landslide was and it was very dangerous work.

"That's what those people do, those people in orange, they're there all the time."

Mr Perry says he is now looking forward to spending more time with his family and young grandson.


© ABC 2014

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