Tekapo community remembers ‘absolutely amazing’ Steve Binns

Supplied/The-Timaru-HeraldTekapo man Steve Binns who died on May 5, 2020.The flag at Tekapo’s fire station is at half-mast this week as the community mourns the loss of firefighter, coastguard and businessman Steve Binns. Binns, a member of the Lake Tekapo Volunteer Fire Brigade since early 2008, died on Tuesday, at home. In remembrance of him the station sounded the siren that evening. Binns has been remembered as an “amazing man” with a good sense of humour who will be sorely missed. Lake Tekapo Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Craig Willis said in all aspects of his life – as a member of the brigade and other volunteer organisations, a business owner and family man, Binns was “professional, compassionate, hardworking and humble”. READ MORE: * New group calls for living wage in South Canterbury * Living wage helps with Tekapo costs * Search and rescue personnel recognised for Lake Tekapo rescue ”Steve had a great sense of humour and the ability to make all feel included,” Willis said. He said Binns was always happy to drop everything to help others and stood out as a leader among others.Supplied/The-Timaru-HeraldTekapo firefighter Steve Binns had been a member of the brigade since 2008. ”Steve has been a great mate and fellow member of the brigade and we will all miss him and treasure the time we have had with him.” Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) assistant area commander Steven Greenyer said it was a sad occasion to lose a dedicated member of the brigade. Mackenzie Lakes Coastguard president Dene Madden said Binns had been with the organisation for about eight years, and was with the Christchurch Coastguard before that, and was an “absolutely amazing man” who would be sorely missed. “He was our senior skipper in the coastguard unit, he was also heavily involved in the training, so we made him the training officer for the unit,” Madden said. “He was one of those people who was cool, calm and sensible no matter what happened — you could always rely on him to be there and give you a hand and advise where necessary.”Timaru Herald/SuppliedIn 2018 Steve and Sharron Binns were the first employers in the Mackenzie District to become living wage accredited. (File photo) He remembered Binn’s rapid action in organising the coastguard response to a serious rescue operation on Lake Tekapo in 2015 when a group of kayakers were caught in extreme conditions, an operation for which Steve received a Certificate of Achievement at the New Zealand Search and Rescue Awards. Madden said he was also a “really good sailor, well practised in boatsmanship” and the team would go ”anywhere with him in a boat.” “It wasn’t just us [he helped] either, he was in the fire brigade and other things as well, he was running his own business but as they say you only ask a busy person to give you hand, they’re the only ones who will make time to do it.” Tekapo firefighter and Mackenzie District councillor Matt Murphy said the community had “lost one of its finest”. “There was never a dull moment with Steve, always a laugh to be had. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.” In 2018, Binns and wife Sharron, who own Tekapo-based Binns Property Works and Tekapo Auto and Hardware, became the first employers in the Mackenzie District to be living wage accredited. Mackenzie mayor Graham Smith sent his sympathies to the family. “Tekapo is sad to lose such a respected and vibrant person within the community.”SuppliedSteve Binns, left, seen in 2009 with Murray Cox (Lake Tekapo Events Group) and Hamish Stevens (South Canterbury Fish and Game) getting ready to release more than 10,000 salmon into the Cass River. (File photo)Stuff
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