Graham’s and Symington Family Estates have donated a fully equipped ambulance to the Bombeiros Voluntários de Lamego, the Volunteer Fire Department of Lamego, to mark the celebation of their 135th year of service to their community. The fire-fighting and emergency services in this town are carried out by volunteers who have other employment but when called upon drop everything to rescue and assist their neighbours.
Lamego is the district south of the Douro River opposite Régua, and Symington Family Estates have several properties in the area, including the Quinta do Sol winery where our Douro DOC wines are made, and Peter Symington’s own Quinta da Fonte Branca, where he spends much of his time and produces many of the white grapes used in our wines, including Graham’s white ports. During harvest we employ well over a hundred people at these properties, and a smaller number year round, so we have close ties with this community.
The ambulance arrived in rather dashing style in a shower of confetti and Peter Symington himself, Graham’s head winemaker before retiring and handing over to his son Charles, welcomed it with a champagne bath. Further celebrations on Sunday included a remembrance service for those who had given their lives in the volunteer service, as well as a dinner featuring Rancho à Bombeiro, a tradtional and very sustaining casserole of several kinds of meat, potatoes, chickpeas, kale, and pasta.
The Symington Family have for some years now donated medical and emergency equipment to Douro community organisations – we live and work here ourselves so we understand the needs of our neighbours and communities. Previously we have donated ambulances to the Fire Departments of Carrazeda de Ansiães, Provesende, São João de Pesqueira, and Pinhão, as well as specialist medical equipment to the hospitals of Vila Real and Alijo and to the Red Cross Association of Sabrosa.