It was just two weeks ago in County Council Chambers, where it was announced that Leduc County Fire Chief Bob Galloway, is to be presented with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, for his many years of distinctive service.
It was just as Chief Galloway finished a presentation to Council and was about to retake his seat, when Mayor Whaley asked him to remain up front for a minute. Mayor Whaley then launched into a recitation of Chief Galloway's career, beginning with his entry into the fire services as a volunteer up in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to present day, in Leduc County. Chief Galloway sat in confused silence, unsure of what was taking place, but at one point joked that it was like listening to his own eulogy. Then, when Mayor Whaley announced that word had just come through that morning that he was to be awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in a big ceremony taking place in Ottawa this September, Chief Galloway sat for a moment, stunned into silence, and all he could eventually say was, "I'm speechless!"
Completely unaware that he had even been nominated to receive this honour, Chief Galloway admitted to feeling very emotional when it was announced. He stated, "I was in shock at the moment, but I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude. I have had a great career and it is a good way to go out, as I will be retiring next year."
Chief Galloway was already planning a trip for himself and his wife, to go to Ottawa this September for the official opening of the Fire Fighter's Memorial that will be taking place that month, but now they will be going a couple of days early to accept his medal as well. He shared that when he brings it home, the medal will be mounted under glass in a frame with his dress uniform, and hung in a place of honour in his home.
Looking back on his career in Fire Services, beginning as a volunteer fire fighter and going to full time in 1974, through to today, when asked if there was anything he would do differently, there was no hesitation in the firm reply, "No, I would change nothing. I have enjoyed every minute of it!"