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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read