Sidney fire hall historian completes fire fighter honour roll

Harry Nunn hopes it’ll survive to display at new fire hall.

Sidney Fire Department historian and former fire fighter Harry Nunn and current Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen share a laugh in front of the new department honour roll

Harry Nunn is a local historian. And he has one particular area of specialization — the Sidney Fire Department.

This week, Nunn completed a project he started back in 2014 during the Sidney department’s 100th anniversary. It’s now hanging proudly in the fire hall for visitors and current members to see.

Nunn himself was a longtime volunteer fire fighter in Sidney and is a regular around the hall even today. He comes from a long line of Sidney fire fighters, having had three family members on the roster, dating back to before he joined up in 1959.

“I had just left the air force,” he recalled. “I joined the fire department on March 25, 1959.”

Nunn retired from the fire department in 1997/’97.

“But I’m still in!” he laughed, noting that he does drop in from time to time.

“I still come around down here on Thursday nights during training nights. I say hello to the guys and then when they start their training, I’m off.”

That kind of connection to the department, for Nunn, has been life-long. He stays involved and is now considered the department’s historian.

In 2014, the department held a weekend-long anniversary celebration, marking 100 years of service to the community. The fire department was officially formed in 1914, when they elected their first fire chief, Fred Humber.

The department, as it was at the time, existed in 1913, made up of members of the Sidney Board of Trade.

It’s this history that Nunn has sought to preserve in his fire department honour roll — a list of many of the names of people who have served the community as fire fighters over the last century.

Nunn said he was able to track down a lot of the names through the rosters and roll call documents kept by the department and the municipality over the years. Modern names, he said, are easier, as better records are kept. He estimated there were over 900 people to serve as Sidney fire fighters since 1914.

Many of those names are now listed on his honour roll, currently hanging in the front office of the fire hall on Third Street.

“I’m pretty proud of this one,” he said.

It’s a list that can be viewed by people who are looking for family history, Nunn explained. It is also a resource for current members — and a way they can honour all those who did the job as he did all those years ago.

“I can’t really tell you why I joined the fire hall,” Nunn said. “To me, it was an exclusive club to belong to. I just felt really proud of being a member.”

Nunn said he hopes the now-framed honour roll will hang in a prominent place in Sidney’s proposed new fire hall — the community safety building project.

Construction of the new hall on land south of the Mary Winspear Centre and next to the Pat Bay Highway, could start as early as this year. It’s estimated to cost anywhere between $5 and $8 million and the Town has the ability to borrow up to $10 million to pay for it.

Nunn said he hopes the honour roll will not just disappear when the move takes place, but remain accessible to the entire community.

Just Posted

New, feature-length documentary on missing woman Emma Fillipoff comes out next year

The film follows Fillipoff’s disappearance and the ongoing investigation

Saanich School District parents welcome end of strike

Various sides of support worker strike acknowledge remaining tensions

Two Sidney seniors struck by vehicle with foggy windows in marked crosswalk

Driver fined for failure to yield, limited visibility caused by foggy windows

Harbour authority to honour Victoria sailor Jeanne Socrates with naming ceremony

In September Socrates became the oldest person to sail around the world in a solo, unassisted trip

VIDEO: The sticky truth about winter moths and how Greater Victoria arborists fight them

Winter moths have ‘killed a lot of trees’ across the region, says Oak Bay arborist

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Most Read