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Cape Breton firefighters to be remembered Sunday

Firefighter helmet. TC Media file photo
Firefighter helmet. - File photo
RESERVE MINES, N.S. —

The sacrifices and service of Cape Breton firefighters who passed away over the last couple years will be remembered this weekend.

On Sunday, the Cape Breton Firefighters Fraternal Association’s Memorial Parade will be held in Reserve Mines.

“The parade is to acknowledge deceased members who have passed on, acknowledge their service to the community,” said Wade Oliver, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and a 20-year member of the Reserve Mines Volunteer Fire Department.

Oliver said it’s important to remember sacrifices firefighter makes from family and work, in order to volunteer with the fire services

“This lets their family know they’re not forgotten, and we do cherish the time they put into the fire service.”

This will mark the 85th year from first parade organized in Cape Breton. The parade was always held annually but hasn’t been held the past few years. Oliver said the idea was to get it rejuvenated.

“It pays tribute to the courage sacrifice and bravery of the member,” he said. “For a firefighter, it’s their life, it’s in their blood.”


IF YOU GO...

  • Cape Breton Firefighter’s Fraternal Association’s Memorial Parade to be held in Reserve Mines Sunday.
  • Parade to leave Tompkins Memorial School at 11:30 a.m..
  • A service and laying of helmets to be held at Reserve Mines fire hall. Refreshments to follow.
  • Event is open to the public.

Oliver said he was asked to help organize it feeling he would have a particular interest in laying a helmet for his father Cyril ‘LuLu’ Oliver, who died in November 2017.

Cyril LuLu Oliver, held various positions in the Reserve Mines department including Deputy Chief from 1979-1988 and 1995-2006 and became a Life Member in 2016.

On Sunday firefighters from across Cape Breton will form up at the Tompkins Memorial School in Reserve Mines and the parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. to the Reserve Mines fire hall. A service will be held including the laying of the helmets for any members who have passed away. A light lunch will follow.

“We ask they bring the helmet the firefighter might have worn,” Oliver said. “If they don’t have one we have ceremonial helmets we can provide.”

There are at least 10 firefighters to be honoured.

The event is open to the public.

Chris March, deputy fire chief for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Fire and Emergency Services, said in the past the memorial parade was typically handled by the Cape Breton Fraternal Firefighters Association, which in recent years hasn’t been very active. March said the fire and emergency services is certainly glad it was picked up by the Reserve Mines Fire Department.

“It’s a valuable and valued recognition and one that should be done,” he said, adding they appreciate the department also kept the CBRM abreast of what was going on and included in any communications.

“As far as the CBRM, we’ll support it in any way that we can.”

There 34 fire departments — between career and volunteer departments — in the CBRM alone.

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