By Eric Bourque
The Yarmouth Veteran Firefighters Association paid tribute March 20 to the late Roger King Jr. by honouring him as its veteran firefighter of the year.
The association honoured King – who passed away this past January – during its annual banquet at the Yarmouth Lions Club hall.
Sharon King, Roger’s widow, accepted the award from Paul O’Connell, the association’s president.
Charles Crosby, the master of ceremonies for the dinner, said he had known Roger King Jr. a long time and described him as someone you could always count on to help.
“Roger was a firefighter’s firefighter,” Crosby said.
King always was there to lend a hand, whatever the situation, Crosby said.
While the idea behind the annual banquet is to recognize veterans of the fire service, Crosby noted that King’s community involvement went well beyond helping the fire department.
“He gave back to his community,” Crosby said.
Born in 1947, Roger Earl King Jr. joined the Reliance Company of the Yarmouth Fire Department in the winter of 1973.
He held all positions in his company and was awarded the Fire Service Exemplary Service Medal in 1993, Crosby said as he went over some of the highlights of King’s involvement with the fire department.
King was awarded the Nova Scotia Fire Service Long Service Medal in 1998 (25 years after joining the Yarmouth department) and, in 2003, he received the Fire Service Medal Clasp in recognition of 30 years’ service.
The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation will honour King at a ceremony in Ottawa.
“It was a pleasure and privilege” to work with King, Crosby said during the Yarmouth dinner.
King also was a former president of the Firefighters’ Museum of Nova Scotia, having held this position from 1997-2003.
Aside from members of Roger King’s family, guests for the veteran firefighters’ dinner included Ken Kelly, who is getting ready to retire as Yarmouth fire chief, and Harold Pothier, acting fire marshal and former Yarmouth firefighter.