Pomp & Circumstance: Celebrations of the Fire Department Kind
“In the early history of this city the activities of the fire department were Calgary’s highlights. It was a social centre, the hub of all sports events, & the firemen promoted every worthwhile community effort that this town had.
- Leishman McNeil 'Tales of the Old Town'
The Calgary Fire Department did much more than simply fight fires. The roots of the department are deeply entwined with those of the city. They developed together with the department both protecting the city and celebrating its growth. Firefighters were, and still are, an integral part of this city.
‘Pomp & Circumstance’ implies celebration, ceremony, and making a fuss - in a good way! Images of galloping horses and gleaming steam engines, combined with a celebration of the pride, professionalism, and teamwork represented by the fire department make an exhibit most magnificent.
Even on solemn occasions, the ‘Pomp & Circumstance’ of the fire department provided an occasion for citizens to commemorate significant events and people, imbuing them with meaning and marking them as important.
By coming together in both grief and happiness, the community created a collective history and publicly acknowledged those that had made achievements in the community and those that had made sacrifices. The history of the Calgary Fire Department is rich in stories of both celebration and mourning.