The Surrey Fire Fighters celebrated their 60th Anniversary Tuesday evening with their annual BBQ, peer awards and retirement recognition evening. Surrey Fire Fighters’ peers were recognized for their contributions to their association and the charitable work they do in the community.
The Surrey Fire Fighters’ Lorne West Axe Award goes to a member with a minimum of ten years of service, who has shown a dedicated and conscientious effort to uphold the standard of professionalism, reflects credit upon Local 1271 on and off duty, and promotes goodwill among union brothers and sisters. They contribute to the betterment of all Local 1271 members for a majority of their service.
The Lorne West Axe Award
Lorne West and Rob Murphy
This year’s Lorne West Axe Aware was presented to Rob Murphy. President Mike McNamara stated, “Rob Murphy has been a very active member over several different areas of the Local over his 24 year career. He has been a Hall Rep, Chair of the Benevolent Committee, member of the Sick and Visiting committee, Peer Fitness Trainer, Golf Classic Committee member and more recently, he has been one of the organizers for the Adopt a Family. In addition to the many committees and positions he has served, this member has always been active when called upon to assist with the many Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society (SFFCS) initiatives over his entire career. This member has clearly made a commitment to not only the SFFCS but a commitment to the betterment of the business of Local 1271.
The Red Powell Award
The Red Powell award goes to the Firefighters, FIREFIGHTER. The recipient of this award exemplifies that of a conscientious and dedicated fire fighter on and off duty. They also uphold the standards of our profession and reflect credit upon local 1271. They promote goodwill among union brothers and sisters. The Red Powell recipient typically has been a member of Local 1271 for 20 years or more. They will have contributed to not only the betterment of all Local 1271 members but also the people in the community, which we serve. Local 1271 is proud of them as a member and they are proud to be a member.
Jon Caviglia and President Michael McNamara
This year’s Red Powell Award went to Jon Caviglia. Jon had an extensive career with the Surrey Fire Department which included a long tenure in the Union executive and Charitable Society. His success as a union officer at managing Local 1271 day to day finances put the Local in solid standing. Local 1271 has always maintained among the lowest union dues of any IAFF Local across Canada. As the Treasurer of the Local, Jon organized the finances in the most efficient structure. Jon developed the Local’s first union budget and he played a critical role in collective bargaining, developing the first template for costing employer and union proposals, and over time, evolving the costing formulas to be exacting. Everyone who has followed into the Treasurer’s position has built on the very strong foundation he built.
Jon is a founding member of the SFFCS. In the early 1990’s, through his vision and leadership, and with the support of his executive team, he registered the SFFCS in 1994 and developed the charity’s mission, goals and objectives, and constitution that has guided the Charitable Society for more than three decades.
Fire Department historians will tell you Jon was the strongest supporter of our charities that anyone could ever imagine and he became obsessed with how we could do better every day.
Over the course of Jon’s tenure on the board he helped develop the philosophy that charitable funds raised in Surrey should stay in Surrey, supporting those in need with financial assistance. He harnessed the membership’s willingness to give back to their community and as such SFFCS became 100% volunteer based. Since the inception of the Charitable Society, fire fighters have given back $1.75 million from their pay cheques with a 94% participating rate. Jon developed a long-term goal that the SFFCS is still building on; with an endowment fund goal of $10 Million dollars! Jon realized that with an endowment fund, the interest alone can give back in perpetuity allowing fire fighters to focus on program delivery, and not just fundraising. In the early 2000’s, Jon launched the endowment fund with a $500,000 donation from the fire fighter’s payroll deduction program and by 2005 the fund had reached $1 Million. We continue to move closer to the original goal each year.
Jon had fostered partnerships with organizations such as the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Centre for Child Development, Surrey Hospice, and City municipal politicians. We continue to share a Thrift Store / Recycling program that generates over $200,000 profit.
Much of Jon’s work is still relied on to this day, by our union Local and our Charities.
For more information contact Mike McNamara at 604.551.2631 or firstname.lastname@example.org, President of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Association.