Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation Holds AGM

Saturday, June 3rd was an event-packed day, mostly to do with the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF). The Annual General Meeting was slated for 2 pm at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library; however the day began sooner than that.

A special tour of the Peace Region Palaentological Research Centre (PRPRC) was arranged, with local paleontologists Rich McCrea (curator) and Lisa Buckley taking the group through the existing finds and discussing plans for the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery which will be a public exhibit.

Following the tour, attended by approximately 15 people, several made their way over to the Tumbler Ridge Public Library, where the AGM took place. A brief synopsis of the proceedings is as follows.

First the audited financial statement, followed by a report by TRMF President Charles Helm. As always, Helm was extremely grateful for the support and help that the museum foundation receives, especially since many projects of this magnitude require the kind of funding that has historically been hard to get within the northern region.

?We need to accept that we are taking an unorthodox route as a small group without extensive political connections, within a small, remote community, by taking a grassroots-up approach and aiming for an institution of international standard? Helm said during his President?s Report. Following the typical agenda, with election of directors, the new board will be assigned positions at the next general meeting.

Newly elected directors for the upcoming year are; Charmaine Shirley, Dave Price, Gail Newman, Gloria Price, Constable Wade Harvey, Mark Deeley, and Jerrilyn Schembri. Returning directors are; Patsy Antle, Charissa Tonnesen, Amanda Battenfelder and Charles Helm. Councillor Rose Colledge remains the District liaison. The 12th director?s position remains open at this time.

Among the noted achievements for the past year were the following.

1)Dinosaur Discovery gallery – A theory presented at last year?s AGM was to have a publicly accessible exhibit space for all to enjoy. The building it will inhabit is currently being renovated with hopes of being up and running by end of July this year.

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2)Exhibits ? Continued additions to the collections of enlarged photograph reproductions in rooms 4 & 5 as well as throughout the Community Centre, an LCD screen attached to the interactive exhibit to allow more people to see the segments simultaneously.

3)Programs ? TRMF has moved up as senior partner in the Dino2) Exhibits ? Continued additions to the collections of enlarged photograph reproductions in rooms 4 & 5 as well as throughout the Community Centre, an LCD screen attached to the interactive exhibit to allow more people to see the segments simultaneously.

3) Programs ? TRMF has moved up as senior partner in the Dino Camps. Participation has increased as a third tier was needed. Said Helm,?The thrill on these kids? faces is an enduring memory and encapsulates for me one reason why we are involved in the TRMF.? The addition of Northern Wilderness Camps will take flight this summer.

4) Employees ? extremely gratified, TRMF has six current employees with a seventh joining them in July. Three are for the summer only and one is just for second half of the year.

5) Communications ? The scientific papers that have been produced as a result of work in this area, have been published this past year. The website is of exemplary quality and now includes TRMF?s Code of Ethics. Other forms of media include radio interviews, and provincial news media. During a situation where seismic activity would have affected the Cabin Pool area, input from TRMF swayed the plans to ensure protection to the area.

6) Research and Fieldwork ? Annual summer fieldwork in 2005 resulted in the retrieval of three large slabs with trackway impressions, which were airlifted to PRPRC. This year work has begun on the Kakwa site, which is a mega trackway discovery and has garnered cooperation from BC Parks.

7) Publications ? There have been some publications of the rsearch conducted in Tumbler Ridge is respected publications. Also, Palaeontologists Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley have contributed articles to scientific literature.

8) Fundraising ? The District of Tumbler Ridge was generous in the alottment of $200,000 this past year, above expectations of TRMF., Also $36,000 from the Gaming Branch (Government of BC), 2010 Legacies now $20,000. Oil and Gas donations and in-kind services have been substantial, such as helicopter time. Contributions from forestry and mining sectors as well. TRMF may require a feasibility study/business plan to accompany certain future grant applications.

9) Partnerships ? Special acknowledgements to TR Public Library, MP Jay Hill, South Peace MA Blair Lekstron, BC Parks, Ministry of Forestry, NRAHTA (Northern Dino Tour), BC Palaentological Alliance, BC Museums Association, Royal BC Museum, Royal Tyrrell Museum and many other museums, universities, scientists and historians.

10) Directors ? Past president Rose Colledge vacated her position last year to become liaison for Council. Few changes in the board last year with a good stability and satisfactory attendance at meetings.

11) Memberships ? the board of directors has decided to honour existing membership fees until 2007, when they feel an even more attractive member benefits package will be available.

12) Conclusion – Quote from President?s Report: ?In some ways we are victims of our own success. Our achievements speak for themselves and sometimes even arouse envy. It may not seem to outsiders that we are in need of help or are vulnerable. Yet in the early days our future sometimes hung in the balance, and the fact that we are still here and growing is remarkable in itself.?

Twenty-five people, among them Tumbler Ridge pioneers Janet and George Hartford, attended the AGM. After the meeting adjournment, Mrs. Hartford narrated a slide presentation about the ?Leake Collection?, which had photographs officially used by the Monkman Pass Highway Association. Reproductions of the photographs have been enlarged and will be added to the existing displays at the Community Centre. Hartford provided a humourous, detailed and spirited account of the content of each slide. It was of great interest that she was able to give first-hand anecdotes of the people and occurrences in the pictures. Credit to Richard Brooks, Janet Hartford and Donald Watson for their contribution to the Monkman Pass Highway slideshow.

As a valued partner to TRMF, the library currently has a variety of books on partnerships with museums and libraries, as well as mutual interests for both entities. They are: The Evolution of Library & Museum Partnerships by Juris Dilevko & Lisa Gotlieb; Muskwa-Kechika by Wayne Sawchuk; Life In Stone ? A History of British Columbia Fossils edited by Rolf Ludvigsen; Faces in the Forest by Michael Blackstock; The LasGreat West by David W. Leonard; Daniel?s Dinosaurs by Charles Helm; and Water and Our Way of Life by Robert William Sandford. Except for Juris Dilevko and Lisa Gottlieb, the Tumbler Ridge Public Library has been fortunate to have all other authors to our community library.