Doreen CFA captain Chris Maries enjoys volunteering with the brigade and meeting people with community spirit. He speaks with Laura Michell.
How long have you lived in Doreen and what brought you to the area?
We have been here 13 years. We were downsizing from large acreage in Hurstbridge. We came off a property with no running water or natural gas – and to get a bottle of milk, you had to go a fair way. We ended up on one acre in an estate with main roads, running water and natural gas. Soon after we moved in, we got decent shops.
What do you like about the area?
I think the area has a lot of appeal. The way the parks and waterways intermingle with residential development. I think it is a young and vibrant community. It is a nice place to live and is relatively trouble free.
What, if anything, would you change?
My wife and I were residents of Mill Park years ago when it was going through similar growing pains. Comparing the early 1980s to now, I think the council is doing better, but there is still room for improvement. What’s going on with our roads is a classic example. I don’t understand why we don’t build roads when we build estates.
How long have you been a member of the Doreen CFA?
I’ve been volunteering at Doreen for as long as I have been a resident.
Were you involved with the CFA before coming to Doreen?
I was originally a member at Yarrambat CFA and stayed a member when I first moved to Doreen, as well as working with Doreen CFA. After a few months, I decided I needed to devote myself to Doreen. It was rebuilding as a brigade and I became part of that rebuild.
What do you enjoy about being in the CFA?
I didn’t mind the learning environment. I became a member because our kids had grown up and it was time for me to find something to do. If I had been down the beach, I would have been in the coast guard. I enjoy seeing young people develop and take on leadership. I also like that you are involved with a bunch of like-minded, quality, community-minded people.
Do you have a favourite local place to spend time?
We seem to spend a lot of time at JoJayz Cafe. We tend to go there because it is close to the fire station and the owner is very fire brigade-friendly and has assisted us through the years.