On Christmas Eve 1942, in the midst of a world gone mad, with the NZ Navy and Air Force seeing action in Guadalcanal, and the NZ Army fighting Rommel’s forces in North Africa, the valiant men and women of the Lyttelton Volunteer Fire Brigade were confronted by a major emergency of their own when 500,000 sacks caught fire in the Rhind & Co. Grain Store on Norwich Quay. The fire cut the town’s electricity supply thus complicating the firefighting efforts, and then continued to burn for several days afterwards before finally, with the assistance of soldiers from the Fortress Command, it was brought under control. Today we celebrate their courage and fortitude, and the wonderful resilience of the port community that came together to support them all. And so it is, in the best of this Lyttelton spirit, that we wish all a very merry Christmas 2021 and a happy New Year!