Press Release
For Immediate Release
Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242 3984

December 7, 2004

Acting Mayor Don McPherson cut the ceremonial ribbon on Monday 6 December in the Tumbler Ridge Community Centre, thereby officially opening the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation’s permanent Coal Mining exhibit. He used the same golden scissors that were used in 1984 to open the Bullmoose Mine

The photographic section of the display includes historic pictures donated by the first generation of coal mines in Tumbler Ridge, Bullmoose and Quintette. The Bullmoose Mine completed its 20 year projected lifespan, and closed in 2003, having produced 35 million tonnes. The Quintette mine closed in 2000, having yielded 65 million tonnes of coal, filled 6500 trainloads of 100 cars each, and employed 1600 in its heyday. The Northeast Coal Development project was the biggest single industrial undertaking in the history of British Columbia, and one photo shows BC Premier Bill Bennett initialing the largest export sales contract in Canadian history.

Speakers included TRMF President Rose Colledge and Kevin Sharman, representing the mines. They and Acting Mayor McPherson spoke of the importance of coal for Tumbler Ridge, and how the community was able to celebrate these mines in the context of a new diversified economy, supported by the development of a second generation of mines. The day before the exhibit opening, the first trainload of coal in almost two years left Tumbler Ridge by rail through the Rockies.

Also on display are other memorabilia from the early days of Northeast Coal, including a
silver railway spike, the lavish Quintette opening dinner menu, the “Hole-through” plaque from the opening of the ten-kilometer long railway tunnel, fossils found in the coal mines and, of course, coal samples.

Longtime Tumbler Ridge residents enjoying the evocative photographs expressed a sense of wonder at the role they had played in making history in the northeast. Rose Colledge summed up the ebullient mood: “The fact that we are here hanging this display in Tumbler Ridge and not somewhere else is an indicator of our survival. Five years ago we didn’t know if we had a future.”

Acting Mayor Don McPherson cuts the ribbon, watched by TRMF president Rose Colledge.
Photo Credit: Birgit Sharman.


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