Of all the things Sgt. Mike McCarthy was able to accomplish during his six years managing the Agassiz RCMP detachment, a winning prize at the Agassiz Fall Fair wasn’t one of them.
Although he participated several times in the wildly popular goat milking competition at the annual fair, the closest McCarthy ever came to winning was second place.
But that was rectified at a going away party for McCarthy held Tuesday afternoon. Mayor Lorne Fisher handed over his coveted blue ribbon as a keepsake.
Fisher was just one of the many officials who came out Tuesday to say goodbye to McCarthy, who came to Agassiz from Chilliwack in 2005.
He leaves today for a new job, managing the RCMP detachment in Sechelt.
In that role, McCarthy will oversee 40 RCMP officers.
The move has been in the works since March, McCarthy said. With the sale of his house final, he and his wife can finally make the move. It’s one they’ve wanted to do for a few years, he added, and now that their children have moved out and are in post-secondary schools, they are more able to change locations.
“And I think I’ll just stay there when I retire,” he said.
Replacing McCarthy is Sgt. Kevin Gibson, who most recently was working in Chilliwack and the as part of the planning committee for the Olympic Games.
Before that, Gibson worked in Milton, Ontario for 13 years, investigating human trafficking cases, a job that took him around the world. He also filled in for McCarthy in Agassiz in March, when he was on leave.
A short stay in Whitehorse and several years in Boston Bar in Chilliwack round out his 31 years in policing.
“It’s nice, some of the faces are still here from when I left (years ago),” he said, looking around the party on Tuesday.
Gibson officially takes over Monday morning.
And, Mayor Fisher added, Gibson will really be taking the ‘goat by the teat’ in his new role, as he’ll be filling in where McCarthy left off at the goat milking competition next Saturday afternoon.