It’s a rare thing to find someone who has worked at one place for nearly 50 years, and it is even rarer to find someone who has been involved with an organization in one capacity or another for nearly 50 years and not gotten paid a dime for the services rendered.
For A.L. “Mac” McAlexander, firefighting and the goings-on of firefighting has taken up a part of his life for the past 48 years.
Mac served as the first fire chief of Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department. Whether it be as chief, firefighter, or a member of the department’s board of directors, of which he was president for many years, he has been part of the fire department family for nearly 50 years
On Monday night, a sad time for those among the Bannertown VFD family came. Mac chose to leave his post on the board of directors and not seek another term.
The time comes to most everyone when they realize it is time for someone with fresh ideas and other views to take part in the decision making process of an organization, whether it be a fire department board or an elected role such as commissioner or senator.
Certainly the decision for Mac couldn’t have been an easy one to leave something he has loved and been a part of for such a long duration of his lifetime.
He is a person that those in the fire department family have a high regard for and respect for his knowledge and service and wisdom when it comes to the decision that are made in how the fire department operates and in meeting the needs of the taxpayers it serves.
As board President Rondale Ratcliff, who also has served as firefighter, chief and assistant chief, said Monday night following Mac’s announcement to not run for re-election, it will be a big change to not have Mac right there at the board meetings to look to for advice and guidance.
Those in attendance Monday took time to recognize Mac for his service to Bannertown, and he, of course, has a standing invitation to all Bannertown functions from here forward.
This county has a truly strong showing of volunteers who serve their communities in many capacities, and I wish I had a chance to recognize them all for their service, no matter how small or large. Please, thank the volunteers you know and shake their hands or give them a hug to show the appreciation you have for the hard work they put in — some on a daily basis — to make our world a better place. As a volunteer, that is the only payment they may receive, and it is the reason they do what they do.
Wendy Byerly Wood is the associate editor of The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1923.