Queen’s Service Medal in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.
For 51 years he was a volunteer fireman with the Waiuku Fire Service, the last eight years as Chief Fire Officer, but says the recognition is for the work of all volunteers and what they do for the community.
“I received a letter back in October asking if I would accept the award
but didn’t know for certain until the announcement appeared in the
newspaper while we were holidaying at Whangapoua on the Coromandel
Peninsula.” He and his wife Jeanette managed to keep it a secret from their four sons and families, several of whom were with them at the beach and able to join in the celebrations.
“It was a complete and utter surprise. Now we will travel to Wellington
in April for the presentation and I’m only allowed to bring along six
Kevin joined the brigade when he was 18 years old and two of his sons are now volunteers. For 37 years he attended call outs around his job as a milk vendor and remembers being involved with major fires at Waiuku and View Road schools and the Post Office as well as countless road accidents. “I really enjoyed the friendship and comradeship of being part of the brigade as well as doing something for the community.”
Since retiring from the fire service, Kevin has been appointed on to the
executive of the Auckland Provincial Fire Brigade Gold Star Association
which involves annual reunions and meetings. Now Kevin and Jeanette
look forward to time for outings and travel. Kevin has recently joined the Waipipi Bowling Club and helps the Mudlarks in their work of clearing mangroves from the estuary.
“I am really grateful for all the messages, letters and cards I have received from so many people. It is an honour and an acknowledgement
for all the hours given by volunteers.”