Ex-Fire Chief among locals to receive Canada 150 Medallion

July 6, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Andy Macintosh, Orangeville’s fire chief for nearly 30 years, is one of 150 residents of Dufferin and Caledon who will receive a Canada 150 Medallion, recognizing the community service and volunteer work he and so many others have provided.

Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is a time to not only celebrate our nation’s independence and culture (and not just one day), but also the individual stories behind it, which the 150 Medallion brings out. A letter to recipients announcing the awards says the medallion celebrates community service/volunteerism and is “important to recognize contributions to our community by individuals who go above and beyond to make Dufferin-Caledon a better place for all citizens.”

Dufferin-Caledon MP David Tilson says they are giving 75 medallions to residents in Dufferin, and 75 for those in Caledon, adding up to 150 residents who “served our community in many different ways, their time, their effort, their expertise in helping.”

Mr. Macintosh, who retired last year, described the day he received the letter. When he went to the mailbox, and recognized it was an official letter from Ottawa, and thought, “That’s strange. I don’t get these every day,” and when he went inside his place and opened it, he was quite surprised and “had to read it twice.” He added, “Once I got over the shock, I was pleased and honored.”

Interviewed by the Citizen, the former fire chief said that when he found others were getting the award, he felt good for them. “You don’t often get recognized for what you do.”

Orangeville Mayor Jeremy Williams thinks this medallion award is a great idea, commenting that Mr. Macintosh has “given such a lot to the community and this is a well-deserved award for him.”

Mr. Macintosh agrees the medallion is a great idea. “It’s certainly nice they can honor people that way.”

He is the Chair of Safe Communities, volunteering there for 15 years, has been an honorary chairman of the MS Walk for eight years, and is currently the director at both Orangeville Food Bank and Dufferin Community Living, “all of which keeps me busy.”

Asked why he volunteers with these organizations, he says “you want to keep busy, you want to keep doing things. I thought this was a good thing to get into, I enjoy them.”

Throughout his time as fire chief, Mr. Macintosh received several awards for his service and dedication, including; the national Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal, Fire Services Long Service Medal marking 25 years of service, as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Queen’s Golden Jubilee medals. Though he will be adding another prestigious award to his collection, he said, “I treat (awards) all equally.”

He says the great thing about volunteering is the people. “I get to meet so many new people. People I’ve never met before I’m meeting them now.”

He explained when he worked at the fire department he took time to recognize volunteers and brought back retired ones for appreciation days. “The more you recognize the volunteers, the more other people say ‘I’d like to volunteer to.’ They really appreciate what we do, so it encourages other people to get involved.”

Mayor Williams says the medallion is a great opportunity to thank citizens for taking time helping others, those receiving it act “as a role model for the rest of the community, and is something other can aspire to.”

The event will take place at the Horizon Event Centre in Mono, on September 14, with Mr. Macintosh saying he is very excited. “I’m looking forward to meeting the other people that got the award.”

Mr. Tilson explained they have given medallions for the 100th and 125th anniversary of Confederation before, and those who received them, along with those this year who called to confirm their acceptance, are “most honored that they have been chosen.”

Mr. Macintosh encourages others to volunteer, as those organizations that need help appreciate it. “I’ve heard of people retiring and they lie on the couch all day, and that’s no good. You’ve got to keep active.”

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