By Heather Killen
It’s been 200 years in the making and has taken 18 months to compile, but the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department’s anniversary book is now hot off the press.
On Thursday, July 26 everyone is invited to the 200th anniversary book launch, Celebrating 200 Years of Service of the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department. Herb Anderson began compiling the book last year to mark the special milestone.
“We wanted to include the special activities planned in 2011, so we knew the book wouldn’t be finished until this year,” he said. “I spent months trying to track down some of the photos.”
The department is responsible for just under 3,000 civic addresses in about 229,000 acres making it the largest fire district of any volunteer department in the province.
The book is an overview of the last two centuries with a colorful mixture of history, photos, and news clippings. Anderson said he tried to cover all aspects of firefighting including sections on equipment, pumpers, firefighter training, and of course, its members.
The book has a special section dedicated to long serving veterans such as former chief Russell Mackintosh, a member for 43 years. While another section recognizes the contribution of multi-generational family volunteers such as Malcolm Francis, AR fire chief, who serves along with his son and brother.
The Mackintosh family is another example, as Russell and two of his sons also served together for a time. And no fire fighter history would be complete without a special tribute to the Auxiliary.
The book also highlights major fires such as the 1999 blaze at Nova Tire Recyclers in Cornwallis. As much as the book tries to cover, Anderson says it’s really just a bit of what could be printed.
He originally thought the book would have roughly 140 pages, the rich history of the department actually filled 176 pages and could have been thicker if the budget permitted, he added.
Two hundred copies have been printed and some of these have been reserved for members and veterans, while the rest will be available for sale. The book launch will take place at the Annapolis Royal Fire Hall at 7 p.m. on July 26.
Everyone is invited to celebrate with the department and help mark the special milestone.