Friday, May 4, 2018

Remembering Two Jims

A notice about International Firefighters' Day which is held annually on May 4th (St Florian’s Dayjust came up on my Twitter feed so I dropped what I was doing and launched into this post.

On this day we remember two Jims, James Ball (1890-1931) and James William Ball (1918-1990), grandfather and father of Mr GeniAus, who both served in the NSW Fire Brigade which is now known as Fire & Rescue NSW. Theirs were not distinguished careers but these two men, who worked in appalling conditions without the benefit of current safety standards, were dedicated and hard-working officers.

Prior to joining the Fire Brigade James Ball (1890-1931) served in the Australian Navy. It was probably James' experience as a leading stoker on Australian warships that prompted him to join the Fire Brigade.

1916 'AUSTRALIA'S DEFENDERS.', The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), 8 March, p. 2. , viewed 04 May 2018,
After joining the Brigade James was active in Fire Brigade affairs being a member of the Fire Brigade Band and a coach of the Soccer team.

James Ball 1890-1931 2nd from left, top row

James Ball  1890-1931) (Top left) 
Mr GeniAus never got to meet his grandfather James Ball who died at the age of 42. We are hoping that one day we can find someone who has a clear photo of James to share with us.

1931 'DEATH OF FIREMAN JAS. BALL.', The Propeller (Hurstville, NSW : 1911 - 1954), 9 October, p. 1. , viewed 04 May 2018,
We do not know if James William Ball (1918-1990) joined the Fire Brigade in 1941  to follow in his father's footsteps but presume this was the case. James worked in the Fire Brigade for many years retiring in 1978. During that time he worked at many city stations and East Maitland in the Hunter region.

James William Ball at left (1918-1990) on the job
James William (2nd from right) and East Maitland crew
James William not long before he retired

James William Ball (1918-1990) Certificate of service
We family members thought Jim was a special bloke but we are biased, the following words from his boss describe the kind, gentle man that we loved.

Today we salute the service of two Jims and all firefighters around the world who work tirelessly to protect we and our property.

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