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This past month, Metalfab’s Business Development Manager, Ryan Stacey, and Paul Maynard of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA) had the honor of presenting the fifth annual Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship to one very deserving local student. As an enthusiastic contributor to her school community and bold advocate for gender equality and mental health, the winner, we’re sure you’ll agree, was the perfect choice. Today, we’d like to share a little bit about the late Jim Hayter, the scholarship, and the praiseworthy winner.

Remembering Jim Hayter

Having served for 44 years—including 15 years as Fire Chief—with the Alvinston (Ontario) Fire Department, Jim Hayter was passionate about his fire service. He spoke with great respect and admiration for his crew and their work. Being Fire Chief wasn’t only a passion for him, it was also a great source of pride.

Ryan met Chief Hayter while working on a rescue unit for the Alvinston Fire Department almost 20 years ago. He remembers the Chief as being extremely welcoming and speaking to him as an equal despite his lack of experience at the time. Even after the unit was delivered, Hayter would have Ryan stop in for a visit every time he was in town.

Jim’s invitations for a “quick chat” would always, inevitably, turn into long conversations fuelled by his contagious passion. He loved to share stories about his role as Deputy Mayor of the CVFSA, his involvement with the “Volunteer Voice” and in many community events, and, of course, valuable time spent with his family.

Over the years, certain customers become friends, and Chief Hayter was just that: a friend to Metalfab and a friend to so many in the community. We are so happy we had the pleasure of getting to know the “man behind the fireman” before his passing in 2017. The Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship was designed to recognize the incredible legacy this man left behind while giving something back to the community in his honor.

About the Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship

Metalfab created the Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship in 2017 to recognize the passing of our valued customer and friend, Fire Chief Jim Hayter. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded each year based on an applicant’s involvement in their school and in the community. The funds must be used to pursue a recognized degree program at an accredited university or college.

In memory of Chief Hayter’s ardent involvement with CVFSA , the Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship is open exclusively to CVFSA members and their dependent children under the age of 25. Each applicant is asked to submit a two-page essay on the importance of community involvement in their life. Academic standing as well as career and educational goals are also taken into consideration.

And the Winner Is . . .

On August 17, 2021, the Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Port Hastings local Melissa MacPherson. Melissa comes from a long line of firefighters. She is the daughter of Nova Scotia Fire Department Captain Vince MacPherson and the granddaughter of former Port Hastings Fire Chief Ian MacKinnon. Her other grand father, Larry MacPherson, is also a firefighter with the Iona, NS Fire Department.  Paired with her avid community involvement, Melissa was a natural choice as the scholarship’s recipient.

In the community, Melissa has advocated for inclusion and eliminating barriers to positive mental health through her involvement in the Walk for Autism and as a member of Jack.Org. She also works with children with mental and physical disabilities through private childcare and has volunteered with Jays Care Inverness-Richmond Challenger Baseball League, an adaptive baseball program designed to empower children living with disabilities.

In her school, Melissa was a photographer for the yearbook and helped run the annual Grad Variety Show. She also worked with the GSA to promote acceptance and equality for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

Having demonstrated a fondness for the screen with her volunteering to run the lights and slideshow for “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes” put on by the Port Hawkesbury Theatre Society, working the control booth for school presentations, and putting footage together for various events, we weren’t surprised to find out Melissa will be pursuing a career in screen arts. She plans to put the scholarship proceeds towards tuition for her Screen Arts degree at the Nova Scotia Community College Ivany Campus. We wish you the best of luck in this and all your future endeavours, Melissa!

Metalfab in the Community

As an active member of the community, Metalfab is always seeking new ways to get involved. Creating the Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship in 2017 was one way we could give back while recognizing the passionate years of fire service and friendship Jim Hayter gave so many. If you have questions about the scholarship, a story to share about your own experience with Jim Hayter, or would like to hear more about what Metalfab is doing in the community, we would love to hear from you. You can reach out to Ryan Stacey directly by email at