Highly anticipated and long awaited, the Princeton Museum reopening arrived with the appropriate amount of hoopla one would expect. For the past few months, behind closed doors, the interior of the old museum has been deluged in a major renovation. Working feverishly on a small budget, the able-bodied crew of contractors and volunteers pulled off an incredible feat of ingenuity. Last week was show time for the Museum Board and all the many hands on workers who went way above and beyond to give Princetonites another fantastic reason to be proud of their town.
MLA Harry Lali, Mayor Randy McLean, Regional Director Brad Hope, members of Town Council, Sergeant Dave Clare of the Princeton RCMP, the museum board, and Justice of the Peace Eric Goodfellow all stood proudly before this latest accomplishment last Wednesday evening in front of donators and volunteers who were given a sneak peak. “This is a proud moment for our town,” stated Mayor McLean. “It is the volunteers who make things happen in our community. If you think you can’t get top quality work in town you just need to take a look around our museum. I am truly impressed and I know you will be too.”
Princeton and District Museum Board president Bob Wicks looked like a proud father during his turn as emcee of the opening. “Bob really drove this project,” said Councillor Frank Armitage. “Bob and Kathy Clement who was behind the scenes were super supporters. It has been a real treat watching this project come together. It has been a great team effort.”
MLA Harry Lali came to the opening with a plaque in hand. “I really want to congratulate Princeton for their wonderful museum they have just completed. It’s all the volunteers who make this kind of project come together and who put in a lot of hard work.” Lali handed over a plaque from the province of B.C.
Evelyn McCallum was also given special mention for her part on the museum board. “She has been so enthusiastic.”
Eric Goodfellow said, “Princeton is very fortunate to have such a dedicated museum society.”
“We owe so much to those that came before us,” continued Wicks. “Many people need to be thanked for their contribution to the history of the Princeton Museum and its evolution to today.”
While the list for all those before was too long to mention, Wicks did take a few moments to thank the crew who was part of the team who made the Princeton Museum one of the best small town museums many locals had ever been in.
“Firstly, Sharon Anderson,” stated Wicks, “it was auspicious that you were approached and that you accepted the position of manager of the museum. Little did you know that you had to become an instant historian, archivist, financial wizard, grant application expert, janitor, employer, interior design artist and seven or eight other skills that don’t immediately come to mind…and I am still at a loss as to how your father-in-law, Tip Anderson, got me to be involved. You have the thanks of us all and especially my thanks for your tremendous contribution to the Princeton Museum. Your are now a part of its rich history.”
Lowe-Irwin pulled in a favour from one of her best friends along the way. Her friend Cynthia Potvin from Big Chip Media did 32 interpretive wall panels “on a ridiculous time line for half her usual rate,” Lowe-Irwin exclaimed. “She was an angel.”
Wicks broke the museum rebuild into two parts – the renovation of the building and the display of artifacts and history. He thanked: “Fred Bergsma, the builder, for accomplishing the impossible on time; Dennis LeBlanc for your excellent and skilled drywall efforts and, especially, for your donation of time and materials for our storage areas downstairs; and Tyson French for turning our archaic heating and ventilation system into a state of the art plant.”
For their design team efforts, “led by Sharon, motivated by Richard Simpson, driven by Robin Lowe-Irwin, helped out by Oscar Irwin, the Cabin Crew and Carly, our student lead hand, we give thanks for what you have accomplished. With great debt to the family of Tom and Gloria Stout, we have used the Stout family legacy provided to the Museum Society for displays and hope you agree we have used it well. We have created an exciting start to the new museum with not enough money and with not enough time, but with true pioneer spirit what we said we would do we have done.” The museum hours are 10a.m. – 5p.m. Monday thru Sat. and 11a.m.-3p.m. on Sunday.