CHIEF KENLON IS HONORED ON FORTIETH YEAR AS FIREMAN
Dinner Dance Given Him at Hotel Biltmore Department Presents Diamond Badge Congratulations from Here and Abroad
THE fortieth anniversary of Chief John Kenlon, of the New York City Fire Department, as a member of the firefighting forces of the big city, was fittingly celebrated on the evening of March 3 by a dinner dance at the Hotel Biltmore, given in his honor by friends inside and out of the department.
Chief Kenlon spent the day receiving the congratulations of well wishers and comrades. One of the first callers on the Chief in his office in the Municipal Building was Capt. Daniel Lawlor, the officer under whose command the chief first served with Engine 13 in Wooster Street, now in command of Hook and Ladder No. 114 in East 125th Street, still sturdy and active despite fifty-three years of active service. Many other veterans still in the service or retired, who served with the chief in his recruit days, dropped in to congratulate him. A six-foot floral horeshoe was presented to the chief by his office force.
At the dinner dance, at which there were some eight hundred guests, Deputy Chief George L. McKenna presented Chief Kenlon with a diamond studded badge in behalf of the department and to take the place of a similar one which was either lost or stolen two years ago. Honorary Deputy Chief Robert H. Mainzer presented, in behalf of several friends, a diamond bracelet to Mrs. Kenlon.
W. P. Larkin, an old friend of the chief, told of his childhood in the north of Ireland, of his going to sea as cabin boy at the age of 16, and of his becoming a ship’s master when 21 years old.
Chief Kenlon responded with reminiscences of “the old days, when there were a few horse drawn surface cars,” and went on to describe the old fire apparatus, “clanging down the street with sparks and black smoke belching from the smoke stack, with gong clanging behind a spanking, galloping team of bays.”
Letters of congratulation and commendation were read from Governor Smith, Cardinal Hayes, Mayor Walker, Judge Olvany, and from the heads of the fire departments of Paris, London, San Francisco and Berlin. A large number of chiefs from all parts of the United States and Canada also sent their congratulations.