| Aug 06, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - August 6, 2009 Central Frontenac firefighter honoured for 60 years of serviceby Julie Druker

Deputy Chief at Central Frontenac Fire and Rescue Station 3, Bill Young congratulates fire fighter and secretary Keith Hawley (right) for his 60 years of dedicated service

Sharbot Lake firefighter honoured for 60 years of service

By Julie Druker

On August 4, Keith Hawley, secretary of the Sharbot Lake Fire Department Association at Station 3 of Central Frontenac Fire and Rescue, was presented with a pin for his 60 years of service with the department.

Volunteers firefighters from Station 3 gathered there on Tuesday night to celebrate and honour Keith with a BBQ dinner and cake, and Deputy Chief Bill Young made the pin presentation.

Hawley was one of the original founders of the fire department in Sharbot Lake village in 1949 and worked with an original crew of 16 members. A 1944 army truck served as their first pumper until 1959, when Oso Township built the original fire hall in Sharbot Lake and purchased a fire pumper that year.

Hawley reminisced with volunteers about the early days back in the village when the bell at the Anglican church was used as their siren long before telephones were installed. He recalled how the army truck would often freeze up in the winter months.

Hawley served as a volunteer fire fighter from 1949 until the mid-1980s and has served as secretary for the Sharbot Lake Fire Department Association for 55 years. His knowledge and skills are revered throughout the department and he has been instrumental in running a tight ship at Station 3.

At 80 years old Hawley sees himself continuing on as secretary and says that he “feels great”. Asked if retirement looks to be in the cards he answered with a decisive ”No.” Hawley also spoke about the possibility of putting together a book about the history of the Sharbot Lake Fire Department and said, “I’ve been putting things together.”

This is the first time in the history of Station 3, and quite likely in the history of all of the Frontenac fire departments, that a 60-year pin has been awarded to a volunteer. The pin had to be custom made in Vancouver.

Deputy Chief Bill Young said Hawley has always been a pleasure to work and commented, "Everyone who knows him has nothing but good things to say about him." Young added, “He’s done a lot of work above and beyond serving as a volunteer fire fighter.”

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