John Allen has purchased the old Village of Harrison fire truck

Old Yeller returns to Harrison Hot Springs

Iconic fire truck bought at auction by Allen to be used in community events

The old yellow firetruck of yesteryear has made its return to Harrison Hot Springs.

Aptly named “Old Yeller,” the 1977 pumper truck has long been replaced at the Village firehall by more modern machines. Once retired, the old truck found herself sitting in an auction lot in Chilliwack — but not for long.

John Allen successfully bid on the truck and has brought it back to the Village. He said he intends to revive it and use it in public events, such as the Canada Day parade.

Allen has given Old Yeller “a new lease on life” in her new role as a community artifact and parade vehicle, he said in a statement.

He said he bought it before, as mayor of the Village of Harrison years ago.

“Now I’ve bought it again as a private citizen and for a different purpose,” he said. Allen is hoping to preserve Harrison’s history in the Village itself, and is holding out hope that one day the lakeside community will have its own museum. In the meantime, he said he’ll be putting his automotive skills to good use, to “show her some love and bring her back to full shine.”

Allen also owns both an amphicar and a Mini Moke, and has been a judge at classic car shows.

“Outside of Harrison, Old Yeller has only scrap value as an old truck. In the village, she is an important symbol of community co-operation, and the fire department which is a central pillar of community life. She will make her debut in her new role on Canada Day.” Allen said. “I’m now looking for the axes, ladders, poles, hoses  and other equipment which used to be part of her on-board gear to complete the display.”

He will be keeping the pumper truck, built on an International chassis by King Seagrave, at his resort, the Harrison Country Club.

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