Lit­tle boy, big heart

Five-year-old gives back to Baine Har­bour Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment with thought­ful ges­ture

The Southern Gazette - - Editorial - BY PAUL HERRIDGE BAINE HAR­BOUR, N.L. [email protected]­erngazette.ca

The Baine Har­bour Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment was the re­cip­i­ent of a big ges­ture from a small boy this month.

It started when depart­ment mem­bers vis­ited Rushoon’s Christ the King School for Fire Pre­ven­tion Week in Oc­to­ber.

Their pre­sen­ta­tion left an im­pres­sion on five-year-old Jay Wal­ters of Boat Har­bour.

“He came home with a lit­tle bag of stuff that the fire depart­ment had given (the stu­dents), and he wanted to see what was in­side, so I took it out and there was a lit­tle money bank,” Jay’s mother, Krista Keat­ing, told The South­ern Gazette on Mon­day, Dec. 17.

When Jay and his mom put the card­board bank to­gether, the young boy came up with a big-hearted idea – he wanted to fill it up with money and do­nate it to the fire depart­ment for gas.

“Then I ex­plained to him his grand­fa­ther had been a vol­un­teer fire­fighter years ago, so I said we could do­nate the money in me­mory of him, and that’s what we did,” Krista said.

Jay was in­vited to the fire depart­ment’s an­nual meet­ing on Dec. 11 to present the $100 he col­lected.

For his thought­ful­ness, the fire depart­ment made a pre­sen­ta­tion of their own. Fire Chief Christo­pher Keat­ing found sev­eral bunker jack­ets in amongst the props for con­certs and plays at the old com­mu­nity cen­tre.

“His grand­fa­ther’s jacket was one of them, so we give it to him,” the chief said.

Krista’s fa­ther, Thomas Keat­ing, was lost at sea in 1992.

“He was pretty im­pressed,” she said of her son’s reaction to the gift. “He said that when he can grow into that jacket, he’s go­ing to be a fire­man, too.”

When he was leav­ing, the fire­fight­ers asked Jay if he wanted his bank back, Krista ex­plained.

“He said ‘Yes’ be­cause he wanted to do it again,” she said, adding they then took up a col­lec­tion. “He left with about $60 to start again for next year. We’re hop­ing now that we’re go­ing to make it an an­nual tra­di­tion.”

Chief Keat­ing said he and the other depart­ment mem­bers were very moved by Jay’s gen­eros­ity.

“You don’t see that very of­ten,” he said. “For a five-yearold boy to take it upon him­self and ac­tu­ally think, you know, I want to help th­ese guys, it was heart­warm­ing.”

CON­TRIB­UTED

Jay Wal­ters pre­sented his $100 do­na­tion to Baine Har­bour Fire Chief Christo­pher Keat­ing on Dec. 11.

CON­TRIB­UTED

Af­ter mem­bers of the Baine Har­bour Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment vis­ited Rushoon’s Christ the King School in Oc­to­ber, Jay Wal­ters, age five, came up with an idea to help them out.

CON­TRIB­UTED

The Baine Har­bour Fire Depart­ment was amazed by the gen­eros­ity of five-year-old Jay Wal­ters.

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