Today we lost a true Surrey Pioneer and former Surrey Fire Chief, Al Cleaver.
It is easy to say there will never be a Fire Chief who will accomplish as much as Al did, during his career and lifetime.
An advocate for all that is Surrey; Al never stopped putting Surrey first. He never stopped trying to “get things done”and even in his last few weeks, he was relentless in getting a meeting with Mayor Hepner so the Friends of the Museum could make sure their plans and ideas were addressed. I am glad and proud we were able to facilitate that meeting so the results of the meeting (read “the good news”) could be conveyed to Al.
I am thankful for the support Al gave me during the civic election and was proud to see him in one of those gold and black T-shirts.
One can only wish to achieve a portion of what Al accomplished in a lifetime.
Al, thanks for taking a chance and hiring me 32 years ago, I promise I won’t let you down!
Below is a part of a memo sent to the City, that outlined some of his achievements. What can’t be put in words is the enthusiasm he had for all of these endeavors.
• The retired Surrey Fire Chief, Al Cleaver created a culture of community service and volunteerism and since his retirement in 1986 he has lived this by example
• He is Past-President and member of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association
• Chairman of the Surrey Heritage Advisory Committee
• Member of the 1999 Cultural Strategic Planning Task Force
• Founding member of the Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society
• Chairman and member of the Heritage Services Community Advisory Board
• Member of the Surrey Professional Pioneer Fire Fighters Association
• The Surrey Historical Society and the Surrey Tourism Association
• Through the Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society he helped to raise over a million dollars for the new Museum capital campaign
• He negotiated a Surrey Leader media sponsorship to promote new heritage programs and services
• He raised funds for a Museum Endowment Fund
• He launched a sponsorship program to raise funds to sponsor free admission to the Museum in 2011
• He has worked with the Heritage Commission to co-ordinate research and prepare a publication featuring 250 heritage buildings and sites in Surrey’s twenty-five original communities
• He assisted with the planning for the production of educational videos on Surrey’s built, natural and cultural heritage
• He has hosted Heritage Week bus tours
• He worked with members of the Fire Fighter’s Pioneer Society to raise $30,000 to fund a Fire Fighter’s history gallery for the Surrey Museum
• Long standing member of the Surrey Historical Society
• Active member at large for the Heritage Services, Community Advisory Board