From Friday 26 to Sunday 29 March, Chatham Islands Volunteer Fire Brigade held its 50th Jubilee celebrations to mark the milestone with the local community.

The Chatham Islands Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1970 and currently has 15 members. With a population of around 660, having a Volunteer Fire Brigade presence for 50 years is a significant achievement for the community.

Steve Joyce, Chief Fire Officer, Chatham Islands Volunteer Fire Brigade, said “We had over 100 current and former members and their partners attend the weekend celebrations. We’re all incredibly proud of our Brigade, and it was fantastic to have the support of area, district and region staff, plus members of the Local Advisory Committee too. Being part of the community is really important here in the Chatham Islands, so having the opportunity to celebrate this milestone together was really great.”

Joined by the local community throughout the day on Saturday, the Brigade held a sausage sizzle and BBQ lunch as well as fun activities such as a fire engine piñata, treasure hunt on the beach, hose run timing for non-firefighters using some decommissioned equipment and a make shift dam.

In the evening, there was a chance to meet and greet past and present members of the Brigade, finishing up with a formal dinner. To round off the celebrations, there was a 10am Sunday Church Service at the Brigade with a BBQ lunch.

Bruce Stubbs, Region Manager, Te Ūpoko, said, “The Chatham Islands Volunteer Fire Brigade is a typical community brigade that responds to a range of incidents and sits within the heart of the community. However, it is unique in its remote location meaning it can’t be supported in the same way as other brigades in the Te Ūpoko region. They have to be much more self-reliant than other brigades. This makes this milestone even more significant and it was great to be part of the occasion.”

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