The Honeymoon Bay Volunteer Fire Department is 70 years old this year. (Gazette file)

The Honeymoon Bay Volunteer Fire Department is 70 years old this year. (Gazette file)

Celebrate 70 years with the Honeymoon Bay Fire Department

It’s been 70 years of community service for the Honeymoon Bay Fire Rescue.

What started as a mill fire department to protect the assets of the Western Forest Industries and the townsite they had built has become a long-standing institution now boasting 17 full-fledged members and two junior ones.

“When the mill shut down in 1981 all the assets of the fire department were forwarded to a newly formed Honeymoon Bay Improvement District,” explained chief Raymond Wear. “In 1987 we moved from the old firehall on the mill site to a newly built one on South Shore Road.”

They’ve been there ever since.

And Wear has been there for half of the department’s storied history.

“I’m starting my 37th year,” he confirmed. He was named the chief in January but it’s not his first time as the group’s leader.

“I’ve been here since 1981 so I’ve held all positions,” he said with a chuckle.

Wear is looking forward to celebrating 70 years with his crew of volunteers and the greater community.

“It is a milestone,” he said. “It’s kinda cool.”

To that end, Honeymoon Bay Fire Rescue is hosting a handful of events over the Canada Day long weekend, June 30 through to July 2.

On Friday June 30 there’ll be an open house at the fire hall beginning at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be offered.

The following morning, July 1, the fire apparatus parade to the community hall starts at 10 a.m. and afterward a static display of the vehicles

“There will be entertainment throughout the day with a dalmatian bounce house and fire truck slide and, of course Canada 150 celebrations as well,” Wear said.

That evening a burger barbecue and dance for the grownups begins at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, July 2 folks can grab a bite to eat at a free pancake breakfast at the community hall from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.