Selwyn signs off after 50 years
A long association between the Allred family and the Methven Volunteer Fire Brigade has come to an end this week.
On Monday, the brigade’s chief fire officer Selwyn Allred marked 50 years as a volunteer firefighter in the town and retired, waving goodbye to something that has been a huge part of his life for a long time.
He was just 18 when he joined, following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. Selwyn’s grandfather Arthur Allred was part of the committee which set up the Methven Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1924, and his dad was the brigade’s chief fire officer to the day he died when Selwyn was just 15. Selwyn’s son Mark Allred was also a member of the brigade until moving to Australia.
‘‘The fire brigade really is part of your life. I’ve enjoyed it, I really have, it’s been great and it’s not only the fire brigade and working with the team of guys that are here and having that comradeship. It’s the conferences and competitions you go to and meet up with everyone else and the friendships you make there. It’s just a great way to meet people,’’ Selwyn said.
Selwyn joined after being approached by former member Dave Eddington.
‘‘I was working at Smallbones as a mechanic in those days, and he said ‘do you want to come along to a practise?’, and while I was there I was signed up. It was as easy as that,’’ Selwyn said.
‘‘It was so much simpler in those days, because all you were doing was fighting fires, whereas now fires are only part of the job.’’
Today, the Methven Volunteer Fire Brigade attends around 100 call-outs a year. They fight fires, attend car crashes and rescues, and turn out for alarm activations and the odd medical assist.
‘‘And that’s good, because it’s good helping the community. Thats what we joined for.’’
If someone had told him when he signed on as an 18-year-old that he’d still be there 50 years later, he wouldn’t have believed them. But he wouldn’t change a thing.
For 21-years, he has served as chief. For the 21 years before that, Davey Anderson was the chief. Now, his son Brent Anderson has taken over as the new chief.
For Selwyn, retirement will allow for more time with his family – including his five grandchildren – and his other big love in life, travel. First on the list, is a salmon fishing trip to Alaska. From there the possibilities are endless.
Selwyn Allred celebrates 50 years with the Methven Volunteer Fire Brigade this week by retiring.