Service Awards were presented to: five-year service award Bradly Gillard; 10-year service award Jeffrey Gillard, Hardy Troake, Roger Gillard; and 20-year service award Danny Clarke. Missing from photo are 10-year service award Patti Hicks-Brown and 25-year service award Assistant Deputy Chief Roger Stuckless.
The Twillingate Volunteer Fire Department members in attendance at the annual banquet were (front, from left) Jeff Young, Danny Clarke, Paul Young, Morgan Oake, Deputy Chief Peter Cooper, Alex Baggs, Chief Craig Clarke, Burt Clarke, Allan Young, Roger Gillard, Dave Earl; (back) Tony Stuckless, Hardy Troake, Cory Lewis, Mike Johnson, Jeff Gillard, Bradley Gillard, Rob Ings, Ray Blackler, Ted Boyde and Matt Lewis.
Deputy Fire Chief Peter Cooper presented Bradley Gillard with the Willie Cooper Memorial Award.
Their volunteer efforts were recognized recently at the annual awards banquet.
The event opened with greetings from Twillingate Mayor Gordon Noseworthy and Mayor John Hamlyn of Crow Head.
During his speech, Fire Chief Craig Clarke said the Volunteer Fire Department responded to five chimney fires with minor damage, three open land fires, one electrical fire and two alarm calls at J.M. Olds Collegiate in Twillingate. This is in addition to four motor vehicle accidents, three requests for hydro lines down, two medical assists and one call to evacuate an area for unstable explosives.
Clarke also noted that three firefighters were able to attend the 2016 Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services convention in Corner Brook, thanks to funding from the Town of Twillingate.
The Fire Department was funded $25,000 by the Provincial Government in 2015 towards the purchase of a rescue pick-up truck, to replace the 1970 wagon. With the help of an additional $10,000 from the Twillingate Lions Club, they have been able to purchase this truck and all it’s accessories.
Clarke announced Corey Rogers as the recipient of the Firefighter of the Year award.
One hundred per cent Attendance Awards were presented to Chief Craig Clarke, Captain Jim Hull and Robert Ings.
Deputy Fire Chief Peter Cooper presented the Willie Cooper Memorial Award in honour of his father who was a dedicated fireman. It is awarded to someone who demonstrates similar commitment and dedication throughout the year.
The 2016 recipient is Bradley Gillard. Gillard attended nearly all of the 40 events the department was involved in throughout the year, practices and cleanups, only missing four or five due to illness. He was available to help at all times and never slowed down despite battling health issues.
There were other donations presented throughout the evening, including $500 that was presented by Roseann Watkins from Foodland. Mayor and harbour master Noseworthy presented $1500 on behalf of the Harbour Authority. Lion Valerie Hopkins presented the Fire Department with a donation for $3000 from the Lions Club for the purchase of a new bunker suit.
The guest speaker for the evening was Gander Mayor Claude Elliot who grew up in Twillingate. He spoke of the importance and value of volunteers, especially firefighters who volunteer their time at all hours of the day and night, often putting their own lives on the line, a sentiment that was shared by all in attendance.