More than 200 years of combined experience was honoured in Blackville Saturday evening.
At a ceremony held at St. Raphael’s Parish Hall, members of the Blackville Volunteer Fire Department were thanked for their dedication including some who had been serving the area for well over two decades.
The hall was full of family and friends, coming together to honour the men who fought to keep Blackville safe.
Thanks were sent from MLA Rick Brewer to the firefighters. Most had little to say beside thanks to the audience, receiving their much deserving gifts and awards from the department and the village.
Much of the event was emceed by firefighter Jonathan Brennan, introducing the men and detailing why they were being honoured.
Captain Garth Underhill was among those at the hall.
“There’s over 200 years of service provided so that in itself is something that should be acknowledged, which was here tonight,” he said.
Rings and plaques were distributed to the members, some retiring, as well as, in some cases, flowers for their wives.
Among those retiring was Burton Mersereau, who is leaving the department after 31 years, Richard Hayes after 35 years, Kevin Donahue, who is retiring after 40 years, and Fred Kennedy.
Few said anything at all besides thanks for the honour.
Kennedy, however, took to the podium to extend his gratitude.
“Thank you, boys, for the support over 32 years,” Kennedy told the applauding crowd.
Also honoured, although not from the fire department, was Blackville Staff Sgt. Greg Grant, who won the Connaught Cup, an award designated to the top shooter in the RCMP, earlier this year after shooting a perfect score of 250 out of 250 targets.
Blackville mayor Glen Hollowood was at the event to present the award to Grant.
A surprised Grant took to the podium upon receiving the award.
“I wasn’t expecting this. I have nothing to say, I have nothing planned,” he said, slightly at a lost for words. “You look back and you see great, great competitors … and you go, I hope I just don’t embarrass myself.”
The crowd mingled following the ceremony, joking among themselves and posing for pictures before leaving.