Peace Historical Society President Larry Evans presents
Carolyn Golightly, TRMF President, with a gift basket
books at the grand
opening of the TRMF exhibits on July 3, 2003.
July 8, 2003
On Thursday, July 3 at 7 pm, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation’s
first exhibits were unveiled and with the flick of a switch,
Mayor Clay Iles illuminated the cabinets that now house various
specimens of coal, plant fossils and dinosaur footprints,
and other items of interest.
TRMF President Carolyn Golightly welcomed a crowd of about
60 and introduced Kathleen O’Neill, regional coordinator
for the Royal BC Museum’s "Living Landscapes:
Peace River – Northern Rockies" initiative. Ms.
O’Neill conveyed best wishes on behalf of Royal BC
Museum CEO Pauline Rafferty and Living Landscapes manager
Brian Apland, who sent congratulations by way of a letter "to
British Columbia’s newest museum, from its oldest,
the Royal BC Museum."
Mayor Iles was called upon to officially open the exhibits.
In his speech he applauded Dr. Charles Helm, Vice President
of the TRMF, for his passion and lifestyle, without which
the tremendous dinosaur heritage of Tumbler Ridge might never
have been discovered. He commended the efforts of the Museum,
the publicity and the increased awareness about Tumbler Ridge’s
beauty and heritage, and its potential to be a quality tourist
One of the guests who traveled to Tumbler Ridge for the ceremony
was Larry Evans, former Fort St. John Fire Chief and current
President of the North Peace Historical Society. Evans made
a brief congratulatory speech, in which he indicated his
pleasure in being able to return the "face carving" to
Tumbler Ridge. The face carving is a unique piece of wood
- thought to have been a grave marker - that languished many
years in Simon Fraser University and the Fort St. John Museum.
Evans also presented the TRMF with a gift basket containing
books to augment the museum’s collection.
Dr. Helm then introduced the main themes of the future Tumbler
Ridge Museum and Dinosaur Centre, which are dinosaurs and
fossils, coal and the creation of Tumbler Ridge, pioneer
history, and natural history. He thanked the many volunteers
who contributed time and or resources to the creation of
the exhibits and especially recognized Mayor and Council
for their support and commitment to the vision of a museum.
The museum’s palaeontology team, including Rich McCrea,
Lisa Buckley and Marisa Gilbert, was introduced and made
available to answer questions about this summer’s main
projects: Dino Camps and B.C.’s first dinosaur excavation.
Earlier in the day, McCrea led a VIP tour to the excavation
site for folks from Living Landscapes, NRAHTA and Tourism
Following the exhibit ceremony, the crowd moved into the
library for refreshments and slide show by Larry White, detailing
his month-long training session at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta.
The creation of the Tumbler Ridge Museum and Dinosaur Centre
may still be a few years away, but the opening of these fascinating
interim exhibits is seen as a significant step in the realization
of this dream.