Millard dedicated himself to community service

Long-time Chemainus Fire Department member and chief remembered for his commitment

Tom Millard served his community well for so many years with the Chemainus Fire Department. (Photo submitted)

Tom Millard served his community well for so many years with the Chemainus Fire Department. (Photo submitted)

Tom Millard made a significant contribution to the Chemainus Fire Department and the community over many years. He died June 4 at the age of 81.

“He was dedicated to the community through the fire hall and big family life,” said son Kevin Millard, also a longtime fire department member since the age of 15 and current deputy chief.

Tom started with the Chemainus Fire Department in 1956 and served for a total of 45 years before retiring in March of 2001. He was deputy chief for 12 years from 1973 to 1985 and then became the fire chief for the next 15 years until 2000.

During his time as chief, Tom was instrumental in the planning and construction of the Chemainus Public Safety building that was the first at the time to house police, ambulance and fire all under one roof.

“Chief Millard was a cornerstone of the Chemainus Fire Department and the municipality will be forever grateful for his selfless service to the community,” noted Martin Drakeley, the current manager of fire and bylaw services for North Cowichan.

Tom is survived by wife Marg, son Kevin and daughters Shannon and Kelly plus a large extended family that includes six grandchildren and brought him great enjoyment during his spare time.

“Dedication, community-wise, and supportive of the family all the time,” summed up Kevin of his father’s legacy.

The fire hall service is in the family blood, but Tom also got involved in community sports while his children were growing up.

A special drive-by of the Millard residence was conducted last week with current chief Al Irwin leading the Chemainus procession, along with firefighters in trucks from Crofton, Maple Bay, South End hall, Duncan and Sahtlam.

The Chemainus Fire Department is currently marking its 100th anniversary and a special mural is due to be unveiled on the back of the post office building.

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