A very nice helmet to add to the collection
Since an early part of my career I have been a collector of insurance and fire brigade memorabilia. When it comes to fire brigade helmets, the collection started when I handled a claim as a claims preparer for the owner of Mitchell’s Adventure in Sydney. At the end of the claim, obviously pleased with my efforts, he insisted I accept a personal gift of a NSW Fire Brigade Brass Helmet and an early 1900’s French fire helmet. From this kick start, over the years, the collection has grown with gifts from the Victorian Country Fire Brigade, a broker who is also a volunteer in the South Australian Fire Service, my sister-in-law whose husband was a Chaplin in the NSW Fire Service, through to spotting a London Fire Brigade Helmet at a boot sale in London. As I write this post, I keep thinking of the wonderful helmets I have been given by friends and family. For example, a girl named Molly, that my daughter Susan met while they were both volunteering in Costa Rica father was in the Fire Department New York as was 4 of her uncles. When we visited the family in New York a few years later, they kindly gave me a helmet worn on 911 by the father who was one of those who responded that day. I still get goose bumps thinking about this very generous, historic and to me priceless gift. As an aside, Molly’s mother is a New York police officer. Not many families serve their community as much as this wonderful lot.
At Christmas, my future son-in-law, gave me a German fire helmet he had tracked down on line. He obviously worked out how to get into my good books 🙂 Thanks Mike.
The reason I mention all this today is that, this morning, I received a beautiful fire helmet for the collection from Narelle Handley, one of our senior claims team here in Melbourne. She has just returned from a holiday in the US where she stayed with friends in Boston where her host is a fire fighter on Engine 1 at the Billerica Fire Station. While the UK and Australian brass helmets are beautiful, the US ones do have a great shape and style. Thanks very much Narelle and your generous host, Jim Harries. It is very much appreciated.