Firefighters celebrate at annual banquet

Hope Bridgewater
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(From left) Wentworth firefighters Vernon Sprague, Norman Gower, Harold Smiley, Orland Carter, deputy chief Arden Little and Chief Kevin Sprague accept their awards for perfect attendance at the department’s recent annual banquet. Submitted photo by Jordan Sprague

WENTWORTH – The executive of the Wentworth Volunteer Fire Department once again asked the members of the United Church Women to cater a banquet for them at the Wentworth Recreation Centre.

Arden Little, deputy fire chief, gave me an excellent report about the names of all who participated at the banquet and Jordan Sprague, son of Fire Chief Kevin Sprague, sent me wonderful photos taken at the banquet. The following is a text summary (slightly edited) of the information which Arden Little e-mailed to me.

The banquet began with a moment of silence to honour former firefighters who have passed away. Master of ceremonies Arden Little asked Pastor Darryl Dykens to give a blessing on the meal to be served.

The meal was catered by the United Church Women, and member Ethel Gilroy announced before the meal was served that UCW members had decided to donate this year’s meal at no charge in appreciation for services the fire department provides to the Wentworth community.

The plates were served to the tables by Jordan Sprague, Jordan Rushton and Melanie Sprague. Joanna Little took individual photos of the Wentworth firefighters as they arrived at the banquet.

The head table included former MLA Murray Scott, municipal councilor Kathy Redmond, current MLA Jamie Baillie and executive assistant Angie Zinck, fire chief Kevin Sprague and wife Weewana and deputy chief Arden Little and wife Barb. Special guests in attendance included wives of deceased firefighters, Pastor Darryl Dykens and his wife Phyllis, Westchester Fire Department chief Justin Rushton and his wife Andrea, Tatamagouche Fire Department chief Jim Forbes and deputy chief Ian Macdonald.

Various awards were presented by MLA Jamie Bailie, Councillor Kathy Redmond and Fire Chief Kevin Sprague as follows: Doug Gilroy with federal, provincial and municipal certificates and a decorative fire helmet recognizing 35 years service with the Wentworth Fire Department; Curtis Swallow (recently deceased) with federal provincial and municipal certificates recognizing 30 years service with the Wentworth Fire Department (accepted by Harold Smiley); David Ogilvie (absent) with provincial and municipal certificates recognizing 30 years of fire department service (accepted by wife Linda); Jeremy Tattrie with federal, provincial and municipal certificates, a WVFD pin recognizing one-year service and a plaque and award in recognition of Firefighter of The Year; Conor Scallion with a certificate recognizing fire school training; Norman Gower with an award recognizing outstanding dedication; Orland Carter with an award recognizing outstanding dedication; Vernon Sprague, Norman Gower, Harold Smiley, Orland Carter, Kevin Sprague and Arden Little with awards for perfect meeting attendance. The banquet was concluded with remarks from Wentworth Fire Chief Kevin Sprague.”

The Wentworth Community salutes the Wentworth Fire Department for their courage and caring for the people of all ages whom they voluntarily help at all hours of the day or night when a call comes in.

Just after the 2010 banquet ended, several Wentworth firefighters went to help a home with a flooded basement and pumped the water out of the basement.

The next day Wentworth firefighters returned to pump out the basement again as water had once again flooded it.

Fortunately, on the third day a new drainage system was placed in the basemen of this home. It was certainly fortunate that the Wentworth firefighters had the right equipment to pump out that flooded basement and the willing firefighters who came to do it.

Organizations: Wentworth Volunteer Fire Department, United Church Women, Wentworth Recreation Centre Westchester Fire Department Tatamagouche Fire Department

Geographic location: Wentworth Community

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