Proud friends, family and members of the Christina Lake and firefighting communities gathered on Saturday to mark the retirement of former Christina Lake Fire Chief Ken Gresley-Jones and wish him well into his retirement from the department.
Gresley-Jones, who has been firefighting for 39 years, started with the Christina Lake department in 1981. He was promoted to chief in 1990, and oversaw the transition to a professional fire service for the lake thereafter.
Area C/Christina Lake director Grace McGregor was on hand to wish him well, as well as other RDKB staff who worked closely with Gresley-Jones during his tenure as chief. Donna Wilchynski, Christina Lake community coordinator, organized the event to celebrate his considerable career as a firefighter. Grand Forks Fire/Rescue chief Dale Heriot and Midway Volunteer Fire Department chief Walt Osellame also attended to celebrate their colleague’s career.
McGregor, Wilchynski, RDKB Chief Administrative Officer John McLean and current Christina Lake fire chief Martin Christman offered their memories, thanks and appreciations for Gresley-Jones’ career as fire chief.
Under his department’s watch, no fire fighter was ever injured and many, many more were wished “happy birthday you old goat,” over the department’s radio.
The dozens in attendance also gave his wife Jill a standing ovation for the hard and thankless job of being a firefighter’s wife.