April 19, 2012 President’s Report
Another season is nearly upon us, and it's time to reflect on the past year, and think about the challenges ahead of us in 2012.
Our last summer was slower than usual, which can most likely be blamed on the economic downturn. We did not see many tourists from the US or overseas, which has not been the case in past years. Tourists were mostly from Alberta and Saskatchewan, and although numbers were down, our gift shop sales were strong.
Kendra Doetzel returned as our summer student. She did a stellar job accessioning artifacts, and labeling displays. A new Railroad tool display was completed in the back room of our bunkhouse. Kendra assisted with guided tours, grass cutting, cleaning and also took care of the gift shop. The Step Program has been approved July and August 2012, and we will be taking applications for the position soon.
Our major event last year, was “Family Train Day”, organized jointly with Shelly England, a local photographer. Shelly turned her entire sales for the day over to us. The turnout was fantastic, and Shelly has indicated that she would like to make this an annual event. Hats off to you, Shelly, for making this such a great event! Thanks also to all our volunteers, and the additional vendors (face painting, CNR Historical Association), and the Wainwright Wheelers Car Club.
The moving of 1404 was finally accomplished last summer, and we now have assembled a typical “way freight” of 1950’s vintage. The moving proved a bit more challenging that anyone expected. Enough said!!
Last fall, Bunge Canada, Ft Saskatchewan, donated their old trackmobile to Wainwright Rail Park. To the surprise of most of us, it fired up easily, and was loaded and unloaded under its own power. Thanks to Board members Cliff Beazley, Butch Panter, and Lloyd Hill for giving up a Saturday morning for delivery of the unit, and to Rent World for the use of the truck and trailer.
The Town of Wainwright Rec Board informed us last fall, that they would donate the Travel Alberta Teepee on Highway 14 to our organization. I have the support of Fortis to move power lines if we can keep the height as low as possible. Davco has been approached, but have not got back to me on the moving of the teepee as of this writing. I will be following up.
We have had some preliminary discussions with Gary Southgate of Battleford, SK, about storage/display of some rail cars that he has acquired. Gary is expected at our Annual meeting, where the matter can be discussed further. I have photos of the cars in question as well as their mechanical drawings. We will need to lay track to complete the line south of the speeder shed.
I recently had the opportunity to talk at length with a Town Councilor, and the possibility of some assistance was discussed. At a minimum, it appears that the Town would provide some assistance with road/path access within the park. The subject of a possible trailer park was again discussed. Services to the area being the main concern. Discussions will continue. I have suggested that the Mayor, Town Councilors, and executive officers should tour our facility. A letter should be sent to Council, at an appropriate date, to organize a tour.
Our 5 year Alberta Museums Association “Recognized Museum” certification is due for renewal by October 31, 2012. It is a lengthy process where we must show our commitment to museum practices, and the care and cataloguing of our collection. It will take much time, and I will need assistance. This is something I cannot do on my own.
So, with much to discuss, and a lot of projects ahead of us, let’s hope for more, and younger, active members, and let’s hope for a successful 2012.