Logan McMillen, 2, from Carterton. His dad Gary is a WFA paramedic. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND
It’s not often that a new ambulance is donated to a community, let alone three by the same person.
But that was the legacy left behind by Bevan Jones, a man whose “second home” was at the back of Yeronga Station in Pirinoa, South Wairarapa.
Bevan, known affectionately as Spike by his close friends, died in November of 2016.
But years before that, he had made his intentions known about donating his estate to Wellington Free Ambulance.
His friend Gary Beban, of Greytown, said after Spike’s death, he had approached senior staff at WFA to let them know of Spike’s intentions.
“He asked for his money to go to Wellington Free so that they can buy two frontline ambulances, a driver training ambulance, and training equipment for the paramedics”, Gary said.
“They said, nobody comes off the street and does this.
“Nobody comes off the street and says there are three ambulances coming.”
One of the new ambulances was handed over to Wairarapa on Friday.
Another was gifted to Hutt Valley, where Spike was born, and the driver training ambulance will be based in Wellington so that it is available for paramedics across the region.
Gary said if Spike was there to witness the ambulance handover, “he would be smiling”.
WFA board member Catherine Rossiter-Stead said it was “wonderful” that Spike had thought of the organisation in his will, “especially because he has made such a huge contribution to our region with his donation”.
“This ambulance will serve our community for many years to come and Spike’s legacy will last forever.
“We are extremely lucky to have Wellington Free Ambulance as our emergency service.
“The dedication of our paramedics is enviable – having modern and well-equipped vehicles like this makes their jobs much easier and allows them to provide the best service they can for their patients.”
She said this was not the first time someone’s generosity had provided a new ambulance for the people of Wairarapa, “and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”
The ambulance was handed over at The Offering in Greytown, attended by friends of Spike, paramedics, and children from Greytown Early Years.
People will also remember the donation of two ambulances from the Wilton family after their “Irish Luck” syndicate which scored $36.9 million in Masterton in 2009.