Honour for Hicks Bay’s firefighting chief

Memorial Stair Climb award recognised Ray Barrett 10 years after he lost his life

Memorial Stair Climb award recognised Ray Barrett 10 years after he lost his life

MEMORIAL TO A FALLEN FIREFIGHTER: Former Hicks Bay senior firefighter, the late Ray Barrett, who died in a crash on his way to an accident in 2008, was remembered when the Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force was presented with the Memorial Stair Climb Award. With the trophy are Hicks Bay firefighters Jordon McClutchie (left), Sapphire Barrett, Tahi Barrett and Georgina Taiapa. Picture by Liam Clayton

A TEAM of firefighters from the Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force returned from the annual 9/11 Fire and Emergency NZ memorial day commemorations in Auckland with a special award in memory of former Hicks Bay fire chief Ray Barrett.

The Hicks Bay veteran lost his life when the fire truck he was in rolled on the way to a road accident in December 2008.

The Memorial Stair Climb award gets awarded annually in memory of a New Zealand firefighter killed in the line of duty.

It is presented on the day firefighters around the world commemorate 9/11 and the hundreds of firefighters lost in the Twin Towers in New York.

Ray Barrett’s son Tahi, now the senior controller with the Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force, accepted the award at the Skytower memorial service in Auckland on Tuesday.

“It was an awesome feeling that 10 years since Dad died, people still remember the things he did as a firefighter and still acknowledge it.

He and three other members of the eight-strong Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force who were with him, climbed the Skytower stairs as part of the memorial event.

“We knew we were to receive some sort of an award as part of the day, but to receive the Memorial Stair Climb award in Dad’s memory was very special.”

With him were his 16-year-old nephew Jordon McClutchie, his niece Sapphire Barrett and Georgina Taiapa.

Sapphire said they all felt proud to receive the award.

“It was a massive honour for us all.”

“Dad would be very proud too,” Tahi Barrett said.

The award was presented by two senior fire chiefs from the US, one of whom escaped from the collapsing Twin Towers tragedy.

The Hicks Bay team get to keep the award for 12 months.

“They are the guardians of it for the next year,” an award spokesman said.

“We know of 59 Kiwi firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1872. Ray Barrett was one of them.”

The award was created by a carver in Northland, and incorporates New Zealand and New York elements to remember the fallen.

It has pieces from the Twin Towers mounted on a matai wood base.

“This memorial award always goes to a brigade that has lost someone and we were humbled to have Tahi and his family attend.”

Engraved on the award are the words “Remembered, respected, never forgotten.”

A TEAM of firefighters from the Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force returned from the annual 9/11 Fire and Emergency NZ memorial day commemorations in Auckland with a special award in memory of former Hicks Bay fire chief Ray Barrett.

The Hicks Bay veteran lost his life when the fire truck he was in rolled on the way to a road accident in December 2008.

The Memorial Stair Climb award gets awarded annually in memory of a New Zealand firefighter killed in the line of duty.

It is presented on the day firefighters around the world commemorate 9/11 and the hundreds of firefighters lost in the Twin Towers in New York.

Ray Barrett’s son Tahi, now the senior controller with the Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force, accepted the award at the Skytower memorial service in Auckland on Tuesday.

“It was an awesome feeling that 10 years since Dad died, people still remember the things he did as a firefighter and still acknowledge it.

He and three other members of the eight-strong Hicks Bay Rural Fire Force who were with him, climbed the Skytower stairs as part of the memorial event.

“We knew we were to receive some sort of an award as part of the day, but to receive the Memorial Stair Climb award in Dad’s memory was very special.”

With him were his 16-year-old nephew Jordon McClutchie, his niece Sapphire Barrett and Georgina Taiapa.

Sapphire said they all felt proud to receive the award.

“It was a massive honour for us all.”

“Dad would be very proud too,” Tahi Barrett said.

The award was presented by two senior fire chiefs from the US, one of whom escaped from the collapsing Twin Towers tragedy.

The Hicks Bay team get to keep the award for 12 months.

“They are the guardians of it for the next year,” an award spokesman said.

“We know of 59 Kiwi firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty since 1872. Ray Barrett was one of them.”

The award was created by a carver in Northland, and incorporates New Zealand and New York elements to remember the fallen.

It has pieces from the Twin Towers mounted on a matai wood base.

“This memorial award always goes to a brigade that has lost someone and we were humbled to have Tahi and his family attend.”

Engraved on the award are the words “Remembered, respected, never forgotten.”

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