Sunday, April 18 was the first chance for many to glimpse inside the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre (PRPRC), one of the most high profile projects undertaken by the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation last year. Visitors got to look at various fossils, hear how the bones are being prepared, and hear future plans for the PRPRC. The tour was lead by Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley.
Sunday was also the day of TRMF?s Annual General Meeting, but the meeting was just the bread sandwiched between the meat of the PRPRC tour and a slide presentation by Dr. Rolf Ludvigsen entitled ?Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Fossil.?
Dr. Ludvigsen?s talk examined the community support after the discover of a elasmosaur fossil near the Puntledge River near Courtenay. The fossil became the centerpiece for the small community museum, and attendance tripled once the fossil was ensconced at the museum. As a result, they were able to move into a much larger building.
The AGM itself was short and sweet. Museum Foundation President Carolyn Golightly gave an outline of the museum?s activities over the past year. ?We set out last year with many goals and a little trepidation about all that had to be done,? said Golightly. ?But we met or exceeded all of them.? Among the year?s highlights: The excavation of the dinosaur bones, the launch of the museum?s first public exhibits, housed in the Community Centre, the successful Dino Camps, the completion of the conceptual design for the museum building and, in November, becoming a registered Charity. ?Until I wrote this, even I didn?t appreciate how much had been accomplished, most of it by volunteers,? said Golightly. She also thanked the many volunteers, who have put in an estimated 7000 hours of work over the last year.
The key business elements of the meeting–the approval of the audit and the election of the new board–happened with no discussion and little fanfare. There were no questions about the audit, and there were 12 people running for board positions, the exact number of board members needed, so there was no vote; all 12 were acclaimed. The new board includes all the members of the previous executive– Carolyn Golightly, Dr. Charles Helm, Amanda Battenfelder and Jess Hunt–as well as former board members Hazel Peters and Rose Colledge.