DURHAM – A firefighter has been recognized for 50 years of service to the Durham Volunteer Fire Department.

Fire Chief William St. Michel and fellow firefighters honored Peter Lowe during a banquet held on April 12 at the Brunswick Golf Club.

Lowe, 73, said Monday he only serves for about half the year, as he lives near Sunday River in Bethel and skis all winter, and spends his summers in Brooklin, near Bar Harbor.

Is he retiring?

”I don’t know,” Lowe said. “We’re kind of short-handed now in the daytime and I do mostly day stuff now anyways. I’m not around an awful lot except for the spring and fall.”

Lowe said that the ceremony was touching.

”It’s kind of like a brotherhood,” he said. “They even brought the family. I didn’t even know that they were going to do that.”

Lowe said that the fire department has changed plenty in the half century since he began serving.

”It’s different today,” he said. “There’s more training.”

St. Michel told the gathering on April 12 that the Durham Volunteer Fire Department was incorporated in 1950.

”We are 64 years old,” St. Michel said in his remarks, which he emailed to the Tri-Town Weekly. “We have a member here tonight that has been here for over three-quarters of our existence. I would ask Peter Lowe to come forward. Peter … was here in the days of the old wooden fire station with the stairs on pulleys and perhaps rode on the Model A to fires. You were required to maintain the building, the apparatus and raise funds so you could respond to the emergencies. You have witnessed so many transitions. You were a part of the past that has helped define our future. You have achieved a stature that most of us will never see.”

St. Michel then presented Lowe with an ax. Painted on the ax is the old fire station, the old Model A and his old helmet.

”It transitions to the new station, the restored Model A and your new helmet,” the chief said. “Changes you have been an intricate part of. Thank you, we are looking forward to the next 50.”

Lowe, who started as a firefighter, was station dispatcher in the late 1990s, and completed Firefighter I training in 2001, at the age of 60. He has served on the Apparatus Committee since its inception in 1994, and on the Station Building Committee from 2000-2002.

Family members surround Peter Lowe as he is recognized for 50 years of service to the Durham Volunteer Fire Department on April 12 in Brunswick. Front left is Lowe’s grandson, Noah, standing in front of his mother, Misty Lowe and his father, Andy Lowe, in back. Others shown, from left, are Vickie Lowe and her husband John Lowe, who is Peter Lowe’s brother and a Freeport firefighter; Lowe, in full uniform, holding the award; Lowe’s wife Kathy, their daughter Beth Betz and her husband, Tim Betz. 


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