Folks converged on the Ponoka Community Golf Club to celebrate former Fire Chief Ted Dillon’s years of service in Ponoka.
The event was held Saturday, Sept. 5 with a fun round of golf, which ended with a dinner and many presentations.
Among those present were Alberta Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) president Peter Krich and Bill Purdy, executive director with the association. Over the years, Purdy and Krich worked with Dillon in advocating for volunteer firefighters across Alberta.
Purdy said Krich and Dillon have a passion for volunteer firefighters as both worked on the retention and recruitment committee with the association. Purdy added it was because of Dillon’s desire to see strong recruitment and retention for firefighters that he joined the committee.
“It’s always been in his heart,” said Purdy.
Dillon always spoke up when it came to advocating for rural fire departments. “He’s from a small fire department and when you talk about a provincial body (AFCA), he’s got a big voice,” said Purdy.
“That was his biggest push when he was with the volunteer firefighters association to make sure the volunteers got their say,” said Purdy.
Krich added that Dillon represented the Town of Ponoka and smaller fire departments across the province in a positive light.
Town and county councillors attended the golf tournament and supper and Mayor Rick Bonnett said it was a great day to say thanks to Dillon for his years of service. “He served the community for just about 30 years,” said Bonnett.
“What can you say to someone after 30 years of great service? Thank you. It’s a big thank you,” said Bonnett.
He added another night for Dillon has been set for Sept. 18. Reeve Paul McLauchlin attended the supper.
Firefighters from the Ponoka Fire Department, Maskwacis and Rimbey also attended the day as well as former members of the department who moved to different towns. Dillon was presented with an honourary blanket from the Maskwacis firefighters for his many years of working closely with the departments there.