Haul truck tire mining exhibit takes shape

District workers install the haul truck tires at the playground next to the museum. Rich McCrea photo.

District workers install the haul truck tires at the playground next to the museum. Rich McCrea photo.

Charles Helm

Thanks to the co-operative efforts of many groups and the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, a different kind of exhibit is under development in the space between the Museum, Community Garden and adjacent playground.

The centrepiece is made up of two enormous haul truck tires, upright but buried in the ground according to safety standards. With the support of Al Kangas and Dale Scraeder of Walter Energy, these two tires were made available to the museum for exhibit purposes.

Pernell and Joanne Kirby and Will Howe then worked together to get them brought in to the museum, after which Public Works Superintendent Doug Beale and his amazing staff worked hard to get them safely installed. Already they are proving to be a top attraction for kids, who can clamber over and through them.

Meanwhile Crys White and her assistants at the Tumbler Ridge Archives in the Museum unearthed historic photos of artwork of mining scenes from the 1980s. The artist, Maruisz Pytlewski, was tracked down by Trent Ernst, and then kindly gave permission for his art to reproduced on an 8 x 4 sign beside the tires. Next to it will be a sign of the same size celebrating the wonderful black and white photos of haul trucks in the mines by Ron Lukey from the early 1990s.

Next into this co-operative venture was Teck Corporation, allowing museum volunteers Larry White and Keith Warden to bring in the historic Bullmoose Operating Corporation and Quintette Operating Corporation highway signs, which will also be installed close to the tires.

All this is done in partnership with the organizing committee for the Quintette Reunion in July, when the exhibit will be an attraction for visitors, after which they can get their photos taken in the Museum beside the famous Quintette Doors.

Celebrating Tumbler Ridge’s mining history in this fashion is also of great importance to the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark. Interpreting not just the geology but also the human history associated with that geology is a critical role of a Geopark.

The result is something that benefits everyone, and its central location draws attention and visitors to the surrounding Community Garden, playground and Museum. It is a project in true TR style, with multiple individuals groups banding together to create something unique and grand for our community. A big thank you to all who made it possible!