Two veterans of the Atlantic City Fire Department noted as role models for public service will be named the Sen. Frank S. "Hap" Farley 2014 Outstanding Men of the Year at the Atlantic County chapter of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick's annual dinner on March 8.

Norman Wilson and John Mistler also will be recognized with a state Assembly commendation by Assemblyman Chris Brown, who is the society's president and also a past honoree.

"We are proud to honor two community heroes who served with distinction with the Atlantic City Fire Department and (who) exemplify the rich contributions of Irish culture to America's melting pot," noted Brown.

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Wilson is a veteran of both the fire department and the Atlantic City Beach Patrol. He joined the fire department in 1983, retiring as captain of Engine 6 in 2010. He is an Atlantic City native and graduate of Holy Spirit High School.

Mistler joined the fire department in 1975, retiring as fire captain in 2006. He currently lives in Egg Harbor Township.

Both men took part in the ACFD's response to the terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, assisting in the search and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.

They are also founding members of the Atlantic City Fire Department Sand Pipers Pipe and Drum Band, and spent the remainder of 2001 playing the pipes at funerals for fallen firefighters and public safety personnel throughout the New York and New Jersey area.

Brown said the Sand Pipers Pipe and Drum Band not only promotes Celtic heritage, but serves as an honor guard to fallen heroes. The group also has awarded more than $45,000 to graduating high school seniors in college scholarships.

Wilson and Mistler both belong to the New Jersey United Pipe Band, a group comprised of pipers and drummers from throughout the state who are willing to travel and volunteer their time at events to ensure a representation of pipes and drummers.

Wilson's credentials include being named the the first recipient of the Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union "Community Star" of the year award in 2013.

Mistler is also a member of the Atlantic County Division 1, Thomas McMeekin Jr. Memorial Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish American Cultural Society and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

The 80th annual dinner and scholarship banquet is a black tie optional event and will take place at Greate Bay County Club in Somers Point. Two local students will receive scholarships during the event.

Spokeswoman Patty Ferry said the event also serves as the kickoff for many area St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

The Society of the Friendly Sons of South Jersey was established in 1935 at the Graham Hotel in Atlantic City. It was created by business and civic leaders of Irish heritage in the South Jersey area.

For ticket information for the dinner, call 609-289-1529 or


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