Displayed in his office, amongst the numerous other awards and memorabilia, are Mike Collinge’s most recent recognition plaques.
He was one of the founding members of the volunteer fire department at the age of 25, and was recently awarded a recognition plaque from the Cariboo Regional District and another bar to go with his federal service medal from Fire Commissioners Office of British Columbia for his 30 years of duty.
He has held most positions from chief, deputy chief, captain lieutenant, until he recently retired.
The last remaining original member of the Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department quietly tells the story of the humble beginnings of the volunteer brigade.
After several fires had occurred in the area, it was decided over a cup of coffee amongst a few locals that more needed to be done to ensure the safety and property of homeowners in the Lone Butte/Horse Lake area, thus the department began.
Through numerous fundraisers, such as bake sales, garage sales and even Christmas tree sales, money was raised to purchase an old 1950 something International fire truck. The engine was stored in various locations around the community until the early ‘80s when the present log fire hall was erected providing a proper home to the volunteers that served tirelessly for their community.
These volunteers have a difficult job to do. They sacrifice time with their own family and friends and are often called to emergencies that require them to leave events, hot meals or the comfort of their warm beds on a cold winter night to do their duty.
Many have vivid recollections of accidents they would much rather forget, though they are forever etched in their memories.
This Christmas, let us take a moment to acknowledge our volunteer firefighters. Drop off some cookies or baking on their practice nights and let them know how much we appreciate them.
Our gratitude goes out to Mike for his 30 years of service to the Lone Butte area, and to all of the other volunteer firefighters who selflessly give of themselves to our communities.