The Saanich Fire Department has unveiled its new memorial plaza which honours the municipality’s firefighters who’ve lost their lives while on duty in the last 100 years. (Mike Burgess/Twitter)

The Saanich Fire Department has unveiled its new memorial plaza which honours the municipality’s firefighters who’ve lost their lives while on duty in the last 100 years. (Mike Burgess/Twitter)

Saanich fire unveils centennial memorial plaza honouring fallen firefighters

Plaza located outside Station #1, marks end of 100th-anniversary celebrations

The Saanich Fire Department unveiled its new centennial memorial plaza, honouring the municipality’s fallen firefighters, in time for Firefighters’ National Memorial Day.

Commuters heading down Vernon Avenue towards the Pat Bay Highway now pass by a brand new commemorative plaza and sign outside Fire Station #1. On Sunday (Sept. 13), Fire Chief Mike Burgess and Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes officially opened the plaza. Construction began in April and the goal was to finish in time for the memorial day, celebrated annual on the second Sunday of September.

The Saanich Fire Department marked 100 years of service in 2019 and the plaza was “part of our centennial celebrations,” Burgess explained.

The memorial features a dark grey Maltese cross – an international symbol for firefighting services – embedded in a concrete base. North of the Maltese cross, sits a new red sign that bears the fire station number, the Saanich Fire Fighters’ Association’s Local 967 and the names of the three fallen firefighters: Lieutenant Thomas Williams Jennings, Firefighter Hugh Stanley Taylor and Captain Dann Marchessault.

According to the department, Jennings, 54, died on Christmas Day in 1968 after having a heart attack while working at a structure fire. Taylor, 43, died in 1994 of occupational-related cancer and Marchessault, 62, also died after a battle with occupational-related cancer in 2014.

“The loss of these members at such early ages reminds us all that firefighting that keeps us safe is a dangerous profession, as well as the importance of firefighter safety, health and wellness,” Haynes said in a written statement. He added that he felt honoured to take part in the unveiling and recognize the “selflessness, courage and expertise” of firefighters.

Burgess emphasized that the Saanich Fire Department is committed to ensuring the safety of its members and that the operating standard “exceed industry best practices.” He added that members have access to everything from personal protective equipment to counselling services to ensure their safety.

The new plaza and sign also provide a “visual identity” for Station #1, a dedicated meeting place for ceremonies and a memorial to recognize the sacrifices of the firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty, Burgess said.

The unveiling officially concludes the Saanich Fire Department’s centennial celebrations.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichfirefighters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

On Nov. 16, Saanich council received the 2020 Housing Needs Report which provides a summary of the district’s housing market and the anticipated future needs of the municipality. (District of Saanich)
New report highlights need for diverse, affordable housing in Saanich

Saanich Housing Needs Report shows current supply doesn’t meet community needs

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
UPDATED: VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read