A major milestone was reached Saturday, June 25 with the official grand opening of the new Mohawk Fire Hall at 39 Meadow Drive, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
The day was celebrated by the entire community with a ‘ribbon’ cutting – which saw Chief R. Donald Maracle and Fire Chief Scott Maracle use the Hurst E-draulic Jaws of Life to cut an old fire hose – a free barbecue, tours of the new hall and a bouncy house for the kids.
Neighbouring fire departments were also on hand to show their support, with the Greater Napanee Emergency Services’ fire department presenting a wood plaque and the Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association donating a plaque to the Mohawk Fire Department. Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, June 23, cheques were presented at the fire hall, once again showing the community’s support for the dedicated Volunteer Fire Department in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
Once construction began, BuildAll Contractors and Original Traders Energy each came forward with a $500,000 donation to offset the cost of construction. Local businesses Village Variety and Tyendinaga Propane each donated $10,000 while Smokin’ Coffee Xpress also contributed $5,000.
“Our dedicated volunteer fire department had long been operating out of a building that no longer met all of the needs of the service,” said Donald Maracle. “The new fire hall came to fruition by our community working together to make it a reality. Revenue from MBQ’s wind and solar energy partnerships will be used to pay back a seven year bank loan, which was taken out to construct the building. Donations from local businesses greatly assists in offsetting the cost of construction, and we cannot thank them enough.”
“This new building has been years in the making, and it’s amazing that the department now has a brand new fire hall that all of the volunteers can be proud of,” added Scott Maracle. “It was also great that after a couple of years without community gatherings and celebrations, to welcome the community in to see their new fire hall. We also cannot thank our local businesses enough for their financial and overall support.”
The new state of the art facility not only offers a new home for the dedicated fire fighters that keep our community safe, but it offers an in-house training/meeting room and offices for the National Indigenous Fire Safety Council, which is working to enhance fire prevention and protection in First Nation communities across Canada.