Would you believe several firefighters, who were around when the New London Rural Community Fire Company began service 50 years ago (incorporated in 1968), are still on the roster? They are Dale Parsons, Peter Elsinga, Douglas Cole and Joe Reid.
Fire chief Allen Cole, son of Douglas Cole, says two of the four “originals” are 86 years of age (Douglas Cole and Joe Reid) and although they are not on active fire service still provide valuable support around the department including working in communications and taking supplies to personnel on fire calls. The others are in their 70s.
At the other end of the age spectrum is a 17-year-old junior firefighter.
They and the rest of the 38 person fire company will be celebrating the department’s 50th anniversary on Saturday, Aug 25. Everyone is invited to the bash at the New London Fire Hall, running from 9 am to 6 pm.
Among the guests are Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry, Malpeque Liberal MP Wayne Easter and Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers, with other local and provincial dignitaries expected as well.
A memorial service will be held for New London firefighters who have passed on.
There have been many exciting changes over the past five decades including a new fire hall, built in 2009 with impressive community support at a cost of approximately $750,000. The department has also seen an increase in fire trucks from two to the current six.
There will be a free breakfast, free bouncy castles for the kids, fire hats and T-shirts to give away, and of course, all the department’s entire collection of emergency vehicles will be on display to impress kids of all ages. Many family-friendly activities are slated for the day.