Obituary: ‘Fantastic’ former Barking fire station commander Jim O’Halloran
- Credit: Archant
The family of Barking fire station’s former commander Jim O’Halloran, a champion of firefighters’ rights, have paid tribute to him after he lost his battle with cancer.
The “fantastic” 74-year-old dad spent 25 years at the helm in Alfreds Way, before becoming chairman of his local residents’ association in nearby Goodmayes.
Jim also had several books published, including Arson About, which included stories about his life as a firefighter in east London.
Daughter Corinne Eastham, 52, said: “I know everyone says it about their dad, but he was fantastic.
“I can’t remember him ever telling me off. He had a happy life right up until the end. He liked eating out in nice restaurants.”
Corinne added her father would drive Joan, his wife of 53 years, “mad” when he insisted on going on a family trip just a day after finishing a course of chemotherapy.
“He never stood still,” she said. “And that is probably what got him the end.”
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Jim’s funeral was held in Wanstead last month.
Corinne, of Goodmayes, said her family had expected “35 to 50 people”, but more than 150 friends came.
“Everyone would knock on his door if they had a problem and he would sort it out,” she said. “A lot of people respected him. He was never nasty and people knew that about him.”
According to his daughter, Jim would be sent to fire stations across London to mediate in disputes between crews and bosses. “He would say: ‘Look, we’re all the same here – treat us as equals’.”
Joan, 74, recalling the last few months of Jim’s life, said: “Even when he was having chemo, he would send me flowers every fortnight.”