An evening of thanks

Bay de Verde wel­comes back Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion fire depart­ments

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

For the 30-odd fire­fight­ers who gath­ered in Bay de Verde’s town hall for a spe­cial reception last Thurs­day, it was a con­sid­er­ably more re­laxed at­mos­phere than the last time they were to­gether.

A month ear­lier, fire­fight­ers from 10 depart­ments in the Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion area came to­gether to bat­tle the dev­as­tat­ing blaze that wiped out the Quin­lan Broth­ers fish plant. It was a uniquely dif­fi­cult fire to con­tain, and the re­sponse from local bri­gades was un­prece­dented.

“We’ve had as many as three fire depart­ments, but noth­ing to this ex­tent,” said Ted Hop­kins, the long­est-serv­ing mem­ber of Old Per­li­can’s fire de­part­ment at 35 years and count­ing. He re­mained at the fire scene for al­most 16 hours that day along­side his brother Don.

Last week’s reception was held to thank those fire depart­ments for lend­ing hand and hose when called upon. Bri­gades rep­re­sent­ing Bay Roberts, Car­bon­ear, Hant’s Har­bour, Har­bour Grace, North Shore, Old Per­li­can and Win­ter­ton joined Bay de Verde April 11 to tackle the enor­mous fire. Overnight, fire­fight­ers from Heart’s Con­tent and Heart’s De­light-Is­ling­ton came to look af­ter hot spots and relieve those who worked hard all day in a harsh en­vi­ron­ment.

“It was very com­fort­ing to see the re­sponse that hap­pened on that par­tic­u­lar morn­ing,” Bay de Verde Mayor Ger­ard Mur­phy told The Com­pass Thurs­day. “They re­ally put their all into it to try and rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion. They kept the fire un­der con­trol, con­tained to the fa­cil­ity it­self. There was very lit­tle col­lat­eral dam­age.”

Bay de Verde fire chief Am­brose Broad­ers echoed the mayor’s sen­ti­ments.

“It’s not ev­ery­day you see that down there all ablaze,” he said, adding that the com­mu­nity as a whole came to­gether to help out.

“I just want to thank ye all, and also from the town. You can’t get no bet­ter than this.”

Sev­eral do­na­tions were made to the town and vol­un­teer fire bri­gade dur­ing the event. Har­bour Grace Ocean En­ter­prises CeeBee Stars pre- sented a cheque for $7,500 from pro­ceeds of an alumni game played at S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium last month. Hick­man Mo­tors and Bay de Verde na­tive Eu­gene Lewis do­nated $2,500 to the fire de­part­ment, staff at Bac­calieu col­le­giate raised just over $300, and Broad­ers’ daugh­ter Dana Coish spear­headed an ef­fort to raised al­most $2,300 to pur­chase new fire boots.

“I’m proud to say that my dad is the fire chief here in Bay de Verde, and the pride that he shows in his fire de­part­ment is be­yond words,” she said prior to pre­sent­ing the cheque. “To see that day him fight­ing the fire was dev­as­tat­ing, be­cause I knew inside it was his place of work as well as he was the chief try­ing to keep things un­der con­trol. He did a won­der­ful job, and we are ex­tremely proud of him.”

“The ex­pres­sions of good­will are in­deed ap­pre­ci­ated,” said the mayor.

I just want to thank you all, and also from the town. You can’t get no bet­ter than this. Am­brose Broad­ers

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Bay de Verde Fire Chief Am­brose Broad­ers thanks fel­low fire­fight­ers for as­sist­ing his team dur­ing last month’s fish plant fire.

Bay de Verde Mayor Ger­ard Mur­phy (far right) was able to per­son­ally thank his son Michael Mur­phy (mid­dle) from the Bay Roberts Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment for their help bat­tling the fish plant fire. Pic­tured at the far left is Bay Roberts as­sis­tant fire chief Doug Mercer.

Dozens of peo­ple came out for last Thurs­day’s event to hon­our fire­fight­ers who bat­tled the Quin­lan Broth­ers fish plant blaze in Bay de Verde.

Dana Coish said she was very proud of her dad, Bay de Verde Fire Chief Am­brose Broad­ers. She raised $2,275 to help the local bri­gade pur­chase new boots.

Har­bour Grace Oceans En­ter­prises CeeBee Stars pre­sented a cheque for $7,500 to the Town of Bay de Verde. Pic­tured is (from left) Fire Chief Am­brose Broad­ers, Lee Nose­wor­thy, Mark Reynolds, Mayor Ger­ard Mur­phy and Tracy Shute.

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