Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime

Lantzville volunteers recognized with service awards

NANAIMO - Ken Spence and Tom Whipps honoured for their years of service to Lantzville.

It was a memorable night for two of Lantzville’s community leaders.

During a special ceremony at Costin Hall last week, the District of Lantzville recognized longtime volunteer firefighters Tom Whipps and Ken Spence for their dedication and contributions to the community. The ceremony was held during a regularly scheduled council meeting.

The two firefighters were recognized for their years of service with the Lantzville Fire Department and presented with the Freedom of the Municipality award.

The distinctions, the first of their kind ever given out by Lantzville, allow recipients to vote in Lantzville elections regardless of their property ownership or residency status in the district.

Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime said the district has benefited as a whole by having Spence and Whipps as members of the fire department and the community.

Spence, 67, joined the Lantzville fire department as a teenager back in 1966 and marked his 50th anniversary with the department earlier this year.

Today, he is the longest-serving volunteer firefighter in the department.

Whipps, in his late 60s, spent 35 years with the department and was the district’s last volunteer fire chief before Lantzville introduced a paid part-time fire chief position.

The volunteer firefighters were honoured for their years of service with commemorative plaques and other gifts. Whipps was also given $2,000 from the district to allow him to attend the Canadian Firefighters Memorial Service in Ottawa on Sept. 11.

“Sometimes it’s gone fast and sometimes it’s gone slow, but I never expected to be standing here 50 years later,” Spence said.

Whipps said it was an honour to be recognized and credited his family and co-workers for all their support.

“I would like to thank the community of Lantzville for seeing enough in me and giving me support,” Whipps said.

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