Kappele Circle

The chief

Alfred Kappele

Alfred Kappele began his career as a firefighter in 1897 in Hamilton. With that department, he rose to the rank of lieutenant. In the fall of 1909, two months after fire wiped out half of Cobalt, Ont., he was named the fire chief and charged with organizing a fire fighting department in that community.

In May 1913, fire destroyed Knox Presbyterian Church in Stratford and killed three first responders. One of the three was Hugh Durkin, the city's fire chief. It was as his replacement that Alf Kappele came to Stratford and on July 1, 1913, at a time when the Stratford department was using two teams of horses to draw its ladder truck and hose wagon, and extra horses for the Silsby Steam Engine. Upon Kappele's recommendation, early in 1914 the city bought a new horse-drawn city service ladder truck and a new Waterous steam fire engine, and in October 1914 added a motor-driven chemical engine and hose truck. A motorized ladder truck arrived in 1920 and the 1914 apparatus was transferred to it. In 1923 the department bought a triple combination pumping engine, hose, and chemical truck. Through the years, the chief also oversaw the development of modern alarm systems throughout the city and in its chief industries.

Active for many years as a lawn bowler, Chief Kappele was a director of the Stratford Lawn Bowling Club. He was a member of Stratford Lodge No. 332 A. F. and M., a chancellor of Hamlet Lodge 42, Knights of Pythias and a district deputy grand chancellor of this district; a member of Sippara Temple, D. O. K. K., Hamilton; and honorary member of Acha Abba Temple, D. O. K. K., Toronto; and a member of Canadian Order of Foresters. He was also a member of St. James Church in Stratford.

At the time of his death, in 1944, he was president of the Stratford Boy Scout Association. Source: Find a Grave

Silsby steam engine