Yarmouth’s veteran firefighter association honoured Sid Francis Tuesday evening as it held its annual recognition dinner.
Various causes and organizations have benefitted from the volunteer work Francis has done over the years, said Charles Crosby, who served as the dinner’s master of ceremonies.
“Sid has given back to his community, not just as a firefighter,” Crosby said.
It was perhaps fitting that the dinner was held at the Yarmouth Lions Club hall, where Francis has spent a good deal of his time, given his longtime and extensive involvement in the Lions. He is a former district governor with the Lions.
Francis only learned he was the guest of honour for Tuesday’s dinner at the last moment, the organizers having kept it a secret until then.
The evening’s speakers included Yarmouth deputy fire chief (and acting fire chief) John Wainwright, who thanked the veteran firefighters for their service and said the Yarmouth department is looking for more volunteers. He said the goal is to have 10 new members by September.
Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood also spoke, expressing her appreciation for the work of the community’s firefighters.
“Thanks for all you do,” she said.
Head table guests for the dinner included Harold Pothier, the Nova Scotia fire marshal and former Yarmouth firefighter.
In an interview after the event, Francis said he thought it was Pothier who was being honoured.
Francis had picked out a gift to be presented to the evening’s special honouree, a gift he ended up receiving himself.
Francis said he was “very shocked” when he learned he was the one being recognized. Visibly touched, he said he was grateful for the honour.
“The community’s been good to me and the Lions Club’s been good to me and, of course, the firefighters,” he said.