Slave Lake’s first fire chief passes

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Stan Pollard

George Stanley (Stan) Pollard, formerly of Slave Lake, passed away recently at the age of 91 in Salmon Arm, B.C. He was a town councillor and fire chief in Slave Lake, as well as running a business in town.

According to information sent last week by the family, Pollard was a member of the first Slave Lake village council, from 1961 to 1964. When Slave Lake incorporated as a town in ‘64, Pollard was elected to a term on the first town council, serving from 1965 to ‘67. His name appears with those of his council colleagues of that first term on a plaque in the lobby of the town office.

It seems likely Stan worked for Swanson Lumber before he opened his service station. That’s where Charlie Jackson remembers him, as a fellow employee at Swanson’s.

Dennis Barton, who arrived in Slave Lake in 1965, remembers Pollard as the owner of Gilwood Esso, roughly where the Boston Pizza now stands. Later, he built the Esso station on the highway. Shortly after, the Pollard family left town for B.C., where he also operated service stations in a couple of communities. He served one term as mayor of Keremeos, B.C.

“An interesting family memory concerns a trip to eastern Canada that Stan and his family took in the mid-1960s,” says the write-up submitted last week by the family. “The trip’s secondary purpose was a family visit to see his brother and sisters and their families in Ontario and Quebec. The primary purpose was to inspect, then take delivery of the Town of Slave Lake’s new fire truck, directly from the assembly plant near Quebec City. This was done in spring with the usual late winter conditions. He then drove the truck back to its new home in Slave Lake accompanied by his nephew from Ontario.”

Stan Pollard was the youngest of eight children in a family from VanKleek Hill, in eastern Ontario. He was the father of two children – Randy (Mona) and Shelley (Eric) and has six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Stan had his 91st birthday on April 17 of this year.

“He lived a good, long life into his ninety-second year and will be missed,” says the family write-up.

Due to restrictions on large gatherings, no memorial event has been planned.

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