Kaikohe firefighter Jeff Mayall (QSM) (left) with his grandson Aiden and son Brendon.Photography/Amy Luca
It’s going to be a big week of honor for Kaikohe native Jeff Mayall.
He has now been awarded the Queen’s Medal of Merit for service to the New Zealand Fire and Rescue Service and the community. He will be honored again on Saturday at a ceremony at the Kaikohe Memorial Hall, where he will be presented with a medal to commemorate 50 years of his volunteer work.
Joining the Kaikohe Fire Brigade was almost inevitable for Mayor, who made a living in the printing industry.
His father was a brigade secretary and his stepfather was a firefighter. His son continues the tradition of his family.
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Comradeship and friendship kept him there for many years, but he recently returned to an operational support role.
Asked how he felt when he opened the letter announcing his honor, Mayall said he was “surprised.”
Pushing in a little more, he said, “I was very surprised.”
But perhaps he shouldn’t have been surprised.
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Since registering in 1972, he has held multiple positions in the brigade, including secretary and treasurer for over 40 years.
Brigade Lifers continue to mentor new recruits and organize a variety of events, including golf fundraising tournaments, Kaikohe’s first fire camp, inter-Brigade bowls and billiards competitions.
He ran conferences, served as president of the Northland Fire Service Associate Association, and represented his region in national firefighting competitions.
Mr. Mayall has also contributed to the Kaikohe Swimming Club, the Kaikohe Golf Club, the Kaikohe Police Blue Light Youth Disco, and has coached hockey at the junior and senior levels.
He still runs a print shop on Broadway and plans to remain with the Fire Brigade until at least October, when he celebrates 51 years with the company.
Mayall was named a Kiwibank Local Hero in 2017.
* The Queen’s Service Medal is still named after the late Queen Elizabeth II, but will be renamed the Royal Service Medal in 2024.