Walt Fenske was recognized at last week’s Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District meeting for 50 years of service with the Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire department, which celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2015, was started in 1965. Fenske was one of the original volunteers, although he took a short break in 1972 before he was drawn back.
Fenske was presented with a gift card and a round of applause from the regional district board on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
“It really is the dedication of individuals like Mr. Fenske that contributes to the strength of a fire department, and of a community,” said board chair John Jack.
Fenske said the recognition was “an honour.”
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in our fire department,” he explained.
The fire department’s original fire truck—affectionately known as “Mabel”—is a 1943 Jeep Willies 4×4, which now enjoys retirement in events like the Canada Day Parade.
“Now we’ve got some wonderful equipment out there, and we’ve got a lot of good men and women who dedicate a lot of time,” said Fenske. “We probably could show up with six fire trucks and 30 people when we do have a fire.”
Fenske is the second 50-year member honoured by the Sproat Lake VFD in recent years. Ted Blight celebrated his 50th year with the department in 2016.
The Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department currently has three fire halls and approximately 40 members. They are always looking for new recruits.