Founding Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade member Dick Cotter (left) has been appointed the brigade’s first patron.

Chief Fire Officer Brent Arthur (right) said the brigade needed someone who was “wise, sensible and knew lots .. and the choice was obvious”.

In 1968, Mr Cotter and Ian Kane formed the first firefighting service in Lake Hawea. Four years later, the New Zealand Fire Service Lake Hawea Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed.

The brigade celebrate its 50th jubilee next May and all past members are encouraged to make contact either through email, facebook or through an existing member.