Fire chief signs off

Former Bluff fire chief Bill Gold (left) is presented with a plaque in appreciation of his 42 years of service by Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife. Photo: Supplied

BLUFF fire chief Bill Gold recently retired after 42 years of service.

Bluff Community Board chairman Raymond Fife said a ceremony was held at the Bluff Town Hall last month with a large contingent of firefighters from throughout Southland attending.

A commemorative plaque was presented to Mr Gold.

Mr Gold said he started with the Balclutha Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1970, and was a firefighter in Balclutha for six years before starting his service with Bluff in 1980.

Among the most memorable fires he attended were the Windward Skins building fires in Balclutha in 1993 and 1995, and a petrol tanker fire on the Bluff Highway in 2001, he said.

Mr Gold said he remembered how the cotton coats firemen originally wore would get soaking wet and keep them cool while the fire was burning, but then the men would freeze once the fire was out.

In 1989 Mr Gold was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for his service.

Mr Gold said he would continue as an oysterman and fisherman working out of Bluff Harbour.

“I’ll keep on with that, it’s good fun,” he said.

A new fire chief has yet to be appointed.

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