Firefighter's 'great shock'

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 13:29 31/12/2013
Southland Times photo
SONIA GERKEN/Fairfax NZ

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks (left) and Gore District Civic Award recipient John Tutty, at the 6th annual Gore District Community Awards, in Gore, last year.

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After 50 years of service and more than 3000 musters, Gore's longest serving volunteer fire brigade member has been recognised with a Queen's Service Medal.

John Tutty is the only member of the Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade to have completed 50 years service.

He started with the brigade as a 14-year-old runner, passing information between firefighters and the fire department, before working his way up the ranks to become 4th Officer in 1979.

While he was now retired from service, he still pops down to visit on Friday nights to check in with the guys, he said.

As well as attending numerous emergencies, he has been extensively involved in fire education and prevention programmes for local schools and community groups. He has also been involved with the Eastern Southland Tennis Club as a player, coach and administrator and has been a member of the Gore Community Patrol. Despite his many years of service, Mr Tutty insisted it was a complete surprise to be recognised.

"A great shock. I never ever thought I would receive a Queen's Service Medal. I'm just part of a team that do a lot of community work.

"When you live in such a great community it's important to give something back."

 

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