Community service groups and organizations help make our outport communities a better place to live in Bay of Islands, not least among them volunteer firefighters and medical first responders.
In hometown McIvers, the annual Fireman’s Ball, while somewhat a misnomer, will Saturday night duly recognize, honour and celebrate four decades of service in the small north shore community. The brigade was founded in 1985.
The McIvers Fire Rescue Service dinner, dance and awards presentations will see firemen and three female first responders, along with fundraising Firettes, honoured for their valuable presence and commitment to the safety and health of local and area residents.
Department chiefs from along the Bay of Islands north shore will join long-serving local fire marshall David George and McIvers 40-member team of firefighters and service fundraisers for the occasion.
The area chiefs attending include Cecil Kerr of Gillams, Colin Tucker of Meadows, and Rick Parsons of the Hughes Brook-Irishtown-Summerside Fire Department, reports McIvers brigade secretary Janette Foote. Chief Wayne Payne is unable to be there due to a prior obligation.
Foote, a first-aid services co-ordinator who is also recognized as McIvers’ lone certified female firefighter, is on the department’s medical first-response team with registered nurses Judy Burridge and Gerri-Lynn Curtis.
Lisa Marie Park is a new team member currently working toward being certified as a defensive firefighter.
More than 100 other invited and special guests, including Municipal and Provincial Affairs Minister Eddie Joyce, MHA for Bay of Islands-Humber district, are also expected to be in attendance.
Fire Chief George, with 25 years under his belt, is one of just three local firemen in that position, along with Landon Payne and Ray George.
The current chief, along with brothers Calvin and Derek Burridge, is slated to receive departmental pins for 32 years in service.
Firefighters Leo Park, the brigade’s oldest member, and Alex Park are both due to be awarded for 30 years in service.
The doors to the ball open at the community hall at 7 p.m., with dinner due to be served at 7:30.
Community service matters
With Christmas just around the corner, community service also comes to include the work of local churches and internationally supportive organizations with local connections.
The Parish of Cox’s Cove and McIvers this month, with support from local 50-plus and seniors clubs, stage fall fairs, bake sales and card games that go to brighten the social season and lives of residents less fortunate.
Among others, groups like the Summerside Lions organize events and make their facilities available for others to stage medical benefit fundraisers that aid families whose loved ones require travel and accommodations to seek treatment for their conditions.
Currently, Summerside Lions are reminding prospective donors that Nov. 22 is the deadline for submitting toys, cash and gift cards for the co-sponsored Christmas Toy Drive with the Corner Brook Fire Department and the 12 Months 12 Miracles Project for the underprivileged.
Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.