49 Forever

Tumbler Ridge oldtimers like me will remember the installation of the Indoor Playground at the Community Centre. Sue Kenny and I chaired the fundraising committee to buy the equipment. We wanted to make sure that the equipment purchased would be safe and sturdy. The result was that, even then we had to raise $30 000. If you look at the walls around the playground you will see all the donors to this project. One panel says Jacoge and that was to honour the artists (JanetConnieGeorge). The Connie refers to a former resident Connie Gainor who is an artist. They moved to Clinton, B.C. when the mines closed. George and I are not artists but with help we were able by utilizing masking tape and good quality paints to fill in the blanks.

At the time we had a very young population and the playground was a good asset to that part of the community. But, populations and children change, there are more older folk and less children and perhaps we do not need the playground in that location or we may not need a playground at all. Your thoughts will be appreciated and you can tell Peter what you think.

I have not been well lately. What is wrong with me and why I have it remains a mystery. I am getting a lot of tests and my body seems to have been turned over to Science which seems fine to me, I do not want it. I am spending my time at home when I am not in the office of the doctor so, if you would like to drop in I would love to see you. If I am not here I am in Grande Prairie getting more tests! But, as I watch TV and the aftermath of the hurricane in the United States I only have to look out the window at beautiful Tumbler Ridge with its cleanliness, its clean water, its electricity, its sewage system and where everyone has a home to come to I once again have to thank my lucky stars that we live here.

While the houses here today are the same houses that were here twenty years ago Tumbler Ridge has changed dramatically. We were teachers at that time and found that the students changed almost every day, some going, some coming, and I commented to a teacher saying I would be happy when they settled down. He said that this is a mining community and they never stay more than about four years and I cannot remember a new student coming in to my class from a place like Labrador that somebody did not say Hi Mary! Miners seem to belong to a unique national community that constantly moves from one place to another in an ebb and flow like the tides. This was quite new to me because I had previously taught in stable communities. As a teacher in Dawson Creek I had students whose grandfathers had gone to the same school. Such was not the case in Tumbler Ridge.