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Yarmouth’s veteran firefighters honour Paul Comeau

Paul Comeau (left), the Yarmouth veteran firefighter of the year for 2018, chats with Charles Crosby, who served as MC for the April 8 dinner where Comeau was honoured.
Paul Comeau (left), the Yarmouth veteran firefighter of the year for 2018, chats with Charles Crosby, who served as MC for the April 8 dinner where Comeau was honoured. - Eric Bourque

Veteran of the year for 2018 was member of former Salvage Corps

An annual tradition for Yarmouth’s veteran firefighters association is to hold a dinner where the group presents its veteran-of-the-year award, an honour that this year went to Paul Comeau.

Born and raised in Yarmouth, Comeau spent 30 years in the fire department. He recalled the time he joined back in the sixties.

“Friends of mine, they were in the fire department,” he said. “They wanted to know if I wanted to join, so I said ‘yeah.’”

Comeau was a member of the Salvage Corps, back in the days when Yarmouth’s fire department consisted of several different companies.

He recalled the camaraderie of the fire service, the various social events and the friendly competition among Yarmouth’s fire department companies.

Asked what comes to mind first in terms of Yarmouth fires, he said the Brown Street blaze of 1963 was probably the biggest for him.

“That’s where the parking lot is now,” he said, referring to the Brown Street lot in downtown Yarmouth. Comeau wasn’t yet a member of the fire department at the time of that fire, he said.

“That was just before I joined and they needed some help, so I went and helped them a bit. After that I joined.”

Comeau, 79, said he was surprised to hear he was getting the veteran-of-the-year award from the Yarmouth veteran firefighters group but said he appreciates the honour.

Charles Crosby, who served as master of ceremonies for the dinner, said Comeau not only did his part while serving in the Yarmouth Fire Department but also has helped the veteran firefighters association and the group is grateful for what he has done.

Head-table guests for the April 8 dinner – held at the Yarmouth Lions Club hall – included Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill, Yarmouth town council member Jim MacLeod and former Nova Scotia fire marshal and former Yarmouth firefighter Harold Pothier.

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