'Mr Fire Brigade' missed in Ross

By Janna Sherman

Ross identity and volunteer fire brigade stalwart Martin Minehan has died, aged 84.
The born and bred Ross farmer, the youngest of the pioneering Minehan family, was a gold star member of the Ross Volunteer Fire Brigade, serving the last 10 years of his 35-year service as chief fire officer.
Chief fire officer Ian Thompson, who took over the post when Mr Minehan retired in 1991, yesterday described him as “Mr Fire Brigade”.
“He was Mr Fire Brigade, there are no two ways about that. He lived his life for the fire brigade and out of all the functions we have had he had never missed one. Even the last couple of years when he was on sticks,” Mr Thompson said.
Mr Minehan’s father, who started the family farm in the Totara Valley in 1920, was also a brigade member, and his daughter, Dea, is a current member.
Mr Thompson said members past and present were expected in Ross for the funeral on Thursday.
A guard of honour will be formed and the vintage 1933 Commer engine will be used to carry the coffin to the St Patrick’s Catholic Church, in Ross.
Mr Minehan lived the last few years at Allen Bryant Lifecare, in Hokitika, and died there on Saturday. He is survived by daughters Dea and Julie, both of Ross.