Scholarship, hockey tournament to honour Hayters

Alvinston Fire Chief Ron McCabe and Deputy Chief Kris Redick were on hand with Toronto firefighter Pat Hayter, an Alvinston native, as the Canadian Volunteer Fire Service Association honoured former Chief Jim Hayter who passed away earlier this year. Photos via Facebook

A new scholarship for children of volunteer firefighters will bear the name of former Alvinston Fire Chief Jim Hayter.
The new scholarship, which is sponsored by fire truck manufacturer Metalfab Fire Trucks, was announced at the annual conference of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Service Association in Nova Scotia over the weekend.
Jim Hayter died in a car accident March 16 near Glencoe, just two weeks after his wife, Mary Louise, passed away suddenly from complications from asthma.
Hayter had been a member of the Alvinston Fire Department for nearly 45 years when he died and had been chief for 15 years.
He was one of the founders of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Service Association and served as its Ontario member for years.
Current Alvinston Chief, Ron McCabe, went to some of the meetings with Hayter.
“He knew they needed a voice to government – a collective voice to make them aware of the volunteers and their needs.” McCabe says one of the earliest accomplishments was getting benefits for volunteers who were injured during active service.
The details of the scholarship haven’t been finalized yet, but McCabe says $1,500 will be awarded each year to a family member of a volunteer firefighter.
The Alvinston department is working on its own tribute for Hayter and his wife, Mary Louise.
It’s organizing the First Hayter Memorial Charity Firefighters’ Hockey Tournament to be held Nov. 17 to 19 in Alvinston.
Eight teams of volunteer firefighters from the region will be in Alvinston for a weekend of hockey. McCabe is one of the organizers of the event. He wanted to make sure the Hayters service to the community was remembered for a long time.
“The idea popped into my head during the time we were going through their funerals that we needed to do something,” he says. The former chief’s funeral was a fitting send off, McCabe says but he thought “we can’t just let this be a one time thing.”
“Everywhere I go, everything has Mary Louise or Jim’s name on it.”
So, the firefighters came up with the idea of a hockey tournament. Jim and Mary Louise were known to spend a lot of time around local hockey rinks watching their grandchildren play.
McCabe says the community has been quick to respond with the eight teams required jumping on board in a matter of days.
Firefighters from Dawn-Euphemia, Watford, Brooke-Alvinston, Toronto and Southwold Township are among those ready to lace up for what McCabe hopes will be an annual event.
And he has a waiting list of five other departments which hope to be involved.
The department is also about to start asking community members for sponsorship, with all of the proceeds going to Camp Bucko – a free summer camp for burn victims.  McCabe expects the community will respond well again.
“It is amazing, as soon as you mention the Hayter name…especially in the fire community…everybody wants to help.”
The event will not only feature hockey but the opening ceremonies will be a tribute to the community minded couple including a colour guard by the Toronto fire department where the Hayter’s son, Pat, works as a firefighter.
McCabe is hopeful this will be a lasting tribute to the couple who have been outstanding in their support of Alvinston. “It’s a way for us to remember them now and 50 years from now.”