Answering the last call

A Cloverdale firefighter who lost his life in 1974 is memorialized on a national monument.

Cindy O’Brien Hugh traces the letters of her father’s name

Cindy O’Brien Hugh traces the letters of her father’s name

One of Cloverdale’s own travelled to Ottawa last weekend to attend the dedication of a memorial site honoring Canada’s fallen firefighters.

Cindy O’Brien Hugh and her sister Kerri were among the relatives who gathered alongside fire services personnel for the Sept. 9 ceremony at the Canadian Firefighters Memorial.

Designed by Douglas Coupland, the new memorial was officially dedicated by Governor General David Johnston at the ceremony, hosted by the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, or CFFF.

The memorial consists of a six-metre-high bronze statue of a firefighter and a wall inscribed with the more than 1,100 names of firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1848 – while answering their last call.

Johnston thanked the nation’s firefighters for their willingness to go “the wrong way” into danger, adding they “represent an ideal of service and selflessness that is very rare and very precious.”

On August 12, 1974, Cloverdale resident Larry O’Brien was the driver and sole occupant of a pumper truck that skidded on a wet road on the way to a fire, landing in a deep ditch. He died at the scene.

He was survived by his wife Arlie, and two daughters, Kerri and Cindy, who was a Grade 10 student at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary at the time.

The loss was devastating, said Cindy’s husband, Rick Hugh.

Cloverdale was still very much a small town in the mid-1970s. Everyone knew everyone else.

The tragedy touched the entire community.

The sound of the fire alarm at Hahttp://raven.b-it.ca/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wDSC01446.jpgll #8 – an air raid siren perched in the hose tower of the fire hall – could be heard throughout Cloverdale and beyond.

[‘Never to be forgotten.’ Cindy O’Brien Hugh, left, and her sister Kerri, at the new Canadian Firefighters Memorial.]

When the alarm was raised, volunteers hurried from their jobs and families, converging at the hall.

O’Brien was captain of Hall #8 in Cloverdale at the time of his death. He was just 44 years old.

He followed his father, Bill, a 20-year veteran and proprietor of O’Brien’s Super Service gas station, into the Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Brigade, in the early 1950s.

“Larry served proudly and passionately for 23 years,”  says a biography included on the CFFF’s website.

The trip to Ottawa was an emotional one for O’Brien Hugh, who works as a secretary in the office at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, and is a familiar face to many Cloverdale residents.

http://raven.b-it.ca/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wDSC01445.jpgThough it was difficult, the journey was worth taking, she said Tuesday.

“The opportunity to meet with so many families that have shared the same loss was something that will stay with me forever,” she said.

She and her sister were able to chat with the Red Knights – members of a firefighters motorcycle club taking part in the Ride of Respect to attend the monument’s unveiling. It was led by Surrey firefighter Tim Baillie.

She also looked for the name of another Surrey firefighter inscribed on the wall, Patrick Glendenning.

O’Brien Hugh also met up with ceremonial piper Jeff Sim, a long time Surrey firefighter who recently retired, and spent four years at Hall #8 in Cloverdale.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Just Posted

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Scales of Justice, Image courtesy Creative Outlet
Teacher’s elbow injury case against Surrey School District, WorkSafeBC struck by judge

Judge says processes put in place by legislation, collective agreement must be followed

Doris Anderson’s digital triptych Aberration, which she is marketing as an NFT.
Semiahmoo Peninsula abstract painter dives into NFT market

Works sold as one-of-a-kind digital files

Vancouver law courts. (File photo)
Surrey murderer loses appeal in 2011 Christmas eve shooting in Newton

Bradley McPherson, 28, was shot in the back of the head during an after-hours house party

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Cruise ship passengers arrive at the port of Ketchikan, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

Most Read