A volunteer firefighter decided to retire after serving the community of Montague for half a century.

Harry Annear has been a member of the Montague Volunteer Fire Department for over 50 years. He was the brigade’s fire chief for 25 years until he stepped down from that post in 2014 while remaining a member.

This year, however, Annear decided to hang up her uniform for good.

“I stayed and I’m having a bit of trouble with my knee so I wasn’t going to be very effective with them. So I decided to quit too,” he said. “If I can’t be good to anyone, I might as well go out.

Annear said he never had to deal with anything too serious for most of his time in the brigade.

But there were still tough times, including a fire that happened around New Years Eve about two decades ago. One of his firefighters died.

“During a fire, one of our members collapsed,” he said. “[But] there have never been too many bad times. We only had a few injuries. “

“Chief by birth”, says the current head of the brigade

Firefighters posted a tribute to Annear on his Facebook page on Friday, where he was praised for his “calm leadership.”

“It was great working with Harry. He was probably a born leader,” said Danny Thomson, the current head of the brigade, who has worked with Annear for many years.

Annear says he will always keep some of the memories he made during his time in the brigade. (Submitted by Mike Annear)

“He had the respect of all firefighters – a very cool, calm and balanced guy. He didn’t get too excited about a major fire.”

Thomson said Annear was “never the type to get too emotional.” Although he might have made a joke or two, he was still serious when he worked.

“He was just a very big presence in the fire department for years … Given that he was that long, the fire department has certainly changed a lot in his day,” said Thomson.

“I guess you would say it’s intimidating to take over from a man like Harry.” You may still be hoping that you will do the same.

Annear said he was extremely moved by the tribute paid by the firefighters and that he will “always keep” some of the memories he made during his time there.

As for retirement, he said it will take some time to get used to normal life.

“Well, I still have my own job now. It’s just something to get used to,” he said.

“You were prepared, even when you went to bed, for a nighttime call. Now I don’t have anything to do like that anymore. It’s just that life changes, that’s all.”