NO. R-76.  House concurrent resolution honoring the half-century active Bennington firefighters.

(H.C.R.44)

Offered by:  Representatives Morrissey of Bennington, Corcoran of Bennington, Krawczyk, A. of Bennington and Krawczyk, J. of Bennington.

Whereas, although volunteer firefighters are often younger individuals, as the physical requirements of the position are demanding and stressful, there are some firefighters whose skill and stamina are sustained for many decades, and

Whereas, outstanding examples of hale and hardy firefighters are the five extraordinary 50‑year active Bennington Fire Department members:  Irv Gardner, Richard “Dick” Hollister, Charles “Chuck” Sawyer, Francis “Butch” Corbett, and Ed Thibodeau, and

Whereas, each of these dedicated persons can trace his personal firefighting history to the era when Bennington’s firefighting services were provided by several firefighting companies, and

Whereas, Irv Gardner served honorably in the United States Navy during World War II, joined the W.H. Bradford Hook and Ladder Company #1 in 1946, is a life member of the Vermont State Firefighters Association, was married to his first wife, Mary Rice, for 48 years and for the last dozen years has been married to the former Mary Wilcox, and

Whereas, Dick Hollister was a Navy Seabee in World War II, joined the W.H. Bradford Hook and Ladder Company #1 on December 5, 1951, was a charter member and president of the Bennington County Mutual Aid, and has been married to his wife, Janet, for 56 years, and they are the proud parents of eight children, and

Whereas, Chuck Sawyer was also a Navy Seabee in World War II, joined the W.H. Bradford Hook and Ladder Company #1 on March 17, 1952, served as a chief firefighting engineer, and has raised four children with his wife, Ann, and

Whereas, Butch Corbett served in the United States Army during the early 1950s, joined the Stark Hose Company on October 1, 1953, with 2003 marking his half-century anniversary as a firefighter, having been married to his wife, Pat, for over 50 years, and they have raised two children, and

Whereas, Ed Thibodeau is a World War II U.S. Army veteran, became a firefighter with the W.H. Bradford Hook and Ladder Company #1 on June 2, 1954, and he was the husband of Lucille Marshall with whom he raised five children, and

Whereas, each of these exemplary public servants will be most deservedly honored at the Bennington Fire Department’s Ladies’ Night Dinner Dance to occur on Saturday, March 22, 2003, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates Irv Gardner, Richard Hollister, Charles Sawyer, Francis Corbett, and Ed Thibodeau for their history of outstanding community service and enduring longevity as Bennington firefighters, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to each of the individual Bennington firefighters named in this resolution.