Celebration in Penryn Fire company to mark 100th anniversary

By on November 2, 2011

By: KATHRYN SHREINER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Photo by Preston Whitcraft
Bob Fichthorn (left) and Eugene Shelly were honored last week for their years of service with the Penryn Fire Company, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.Photo by Preston Whitcraft
Bob Fichthorn (left) and Eugene Shelly were honored last week for their years of service with the Penryn Fire Company, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.

During the Oct. 25 meeting of Penryn Fire Company No. 1, two members were honored for their century of committed volunteer service to the community as members of the fire company.

Mike Martin, on behalf of the awards committee, called Bob Fichthorn to the front of the meeting room. A surprised Bob noted that he and his family moved from Myerstown in 1960. Bob joined the fire company in 1981 and served as a fire policeman. He was honored for 30 years of service to the fire police and as a fire captain. His wife, Phyllis, was active in the Penryn Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary (disbanded). His son, Tim, was active in the fire company for a period of time as well.

Chief Shannon Martin added that Bob goes to Penn Township officials for approval when there is a concern about procedures and that the procedures are correctly accomplished.

Bob’s fellow firemen and ladies requested the new fire police vehicle should be dedicated in honor of Bob and his 30 years of service. The vehicle will be used at various places where the fire police duties are necessary.

Bob acknowledged with a "thank you," adding, "It’s not only me — all fire company personnel and fire chiefs and people who are involved in safety."

Jerry Wolfe and Barry Shelly added verbal thank yous to Bob, citing a job well done. To which Bob responded, "Thanks everybody, I appreciate your thoughts."

Mike Martin then called 89 years young Eugene Shelly to come forward to honor him for 70 years of volunteer service. Facts were shared concerning Gene. He joined the company in 1941 and ran calls into the 1990s. Martin added, "It’s hard to put into words what Gene has done for the community and for the fire company."

His dedication included his wife, Kathryn, and family. Gene, who has eye problems, added, "I wish I could see you people, I can’t see who is here (meaning the meeting). God Bless."

Eugene’s wife was actively involved in the Penryn Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. His family was actively involved in the community and fire company events.

These two men collectively gave 100 years of dedicated volunteer service to their community and fire company; equaling the century of service that honors the founding of Penryn Fire Company No. 1.

Many activities are in the planning stages for an anniversary celebration which will include a parade and other activities.

Garden/yard flags and wrought iron posts are available for purchase with a donation of $20 for the flag and $10 for the post.

Local historical author, Richard E. Martin, has written a commemorative booklet titled, "Penryn Fire Company No. 1: The First 100 Years." Included in the book is a memorial page. The deadline for the patron’s page is Dec. 1. Include your family and their names for a small fee donation. Contact Richard at 572-7350 for questions regarding the memorial page. The book will be offered for sale in the spring.

Orders for the flag and the booklet can be taken at the fire house on Penryn Road any Monday evening between 6:30 and 7:30, or by contacting Fire Chief Shannon Martin at 665-2535.

Reflective address marker signs with the address make it easier for fire, police or ambulance personnel to find the location they are looking for faster should a need arise for such services.

The next Penryn Fire Company meeting is set for Dec. 6. More PENRYN, page A17

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