The Methven Firefighters Support Group (MFSG) officially opened it’s new Heritage and Training Centre on Saturday 5th March. With a huge round of applause from a large gathering of MVFB members and supporters; Mayor, Angus McKay, with the assistance of MP, Jo Goodhew and MFSG Chairman, Alan Lumsden, cut the ribbon.
Angus said, “It’s a big occasion for these guys, and a testament to the Methven Community.”
The building was designed to house their memorabilia and retired vehicles and equipment. Whilst upstairs hosts the Education and Training area for Preschoolers and school age
children. Alan Lumsden said, “We can fit up to 70 children upstairs, I am looking forward to continuing our Fire Wise program in the new area.”
The main contractor for the project was Brent Anderson, assisted by many volunteer hours from members of the community including fellow builder and fire fighter Dave McLeod and his team at Snowfed builders. A hammer and paintbrush was picked up by a fair few hands along the way to get the job done and although it has taken a while to complete, the building is totally debt free and finished to a really good standard.
Jo Goodhew commented, “What a fabulous facility, built on volunteer time and upstairs is a great place to engage and inspire kids.”
Talking to fellow painter and decorator Frank Sandys was Sean Lightfoot, who said, “There were a few hours spent in here plastering and painting, with materials donated by Dave and Debbie at Hammer Hardware.”
There were in fact almost fifty local businesses and individuals who contributed materials, time and goods to the project.
The memorabilia on display includes vehicles they have used over the years; the original hand pulled cart from the early 1900’s; a flat nosed 1964 Land Rover that and a fully functional, electric toy Fire Truck that Andrew Leask made for his children about 15 years ago. The Bedford truck was found and brought home from Nelson. A maior instigator in finding the truck was Allan Lamont a well respected member of the Fire Service and Methven Community. Claire Balman and Susan Lamont, daughters of Allan, were at the opening representing their family, Claire said, “We grew up around the Fire Brigade as our Dad joined up when he was only about 18 and carried on until he passed away 10 years ago. We attended all the fundraisers and events over the years and the family has recently been given Dad’s uniform, helmet and medals, which we are proudly sharing for a period of time each around our family. It was a very emotional and proud moment for us when we first saw the framed memorial to Dad, hanging on the wall in the new building.”
Amongst the family and friends enjoying the speeches and afternoon tea, was Foodstuffs South Island Community Trust representative, Greg Boock and his children. Greg said, “A
grant application was made through Ashburton New World, and $5,000 was awarded by the trust. It went towards the laptop, projector screen, kids uniforms and educational materials. It was an honour to be invited and as a trustee it is always great to see first hand the difference our community grants make, it is what our Trust is all about.”
Julie Clements | Snowfed