December 2005 Update

Our society had an active early winter season in 2005. In September, Walt Humphries gave a talk to the Rotary Club to keep them up to date on our activities and plans for the future. In October, we had an open house at the future museum site and took approximately 35 people on a tour of the warehouse and recreation hall. 

2005 Annual General Meeting: Held on November 2nd 2005, the Annual General Meeting was well attended. We had about 25-30 people show up. Walt Humphries opened the meeting with an update on the year's activities. Diane Baldwin updated the society members on our successful artifact collection over the summer. Mike Vaydik gave a brief overview on the creation of the George Hunter photo exhibit "Not Only Gold", and Wayne Bryant, our secretary-treasurer, reported on our financial statements. Society member Kevin O'Reilly showcased his collection of postmarks, post cards, and other philatelic memorabilia and gave a speech on the history of the postal system in the Northwest Territories, especially as it relates to mining. Many of the early mines like Discovery, Camlaren and Eldorado had their own post offices. 

New Director: Deb Bain was appointed a new director of the society in October 2005. Welcome to the society Deb! 

Recreation Hall Lease: The lease has been awarded but the terms of the lease have not yet been hammered out. Some minor roof repairs have been made to the structure, and we have begun planning for full-scale renovations to the building. 

Site Visits and Artifact Collection: Our artifact collection continues to grow. Ryan Silke brought a small ore bucket made from an oil drum back from Oro Lake by snowmobile in December, an item that he had stockpiled there in the summer of 2004. Boxes of books from the Giant Mine office were also collected. Preparations were made for the acquisition of additional mining equipment from Con Mine. 

Parking Lot Display: The area around the old log cabin was contoured with fine gravel which levels the area and acts as a seal. A start was made on laying a short section of rail track in October. The pad will require a layer of finer crush on top of it to level the track and to provide easier walking for people who want to take a closer look at the display. In December, Ryan used a snowmobile to position the heavy rail track into position along the gravel pad so that the track can be easily built once all the ground preparations have been made. We are continuing to collect equipment for this display. 

George Hunter Photo Exhibit: The photo exhibit at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center in Yellowknife, which opened in June, remains on display and continues to receive good exposure. With Mr. Hunter's assistance, the society also produced an impressive book showcasing all the prints in the exhibit. Launched at the 2005 Geoscience Forum in November, the book includes short histories of the mines that are photographed. Copies are $20 each and can be purchased through the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines and at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center. The exhibit will be on display into 2006 and some of the prints will be taken to the Prospectors Development Association Conference in March and put on display. 

Giant Mine Issues: The society was contacted by the Giant Mine Remediation Team in late September regarding the removal of old junk and debris in the A-shaft area and also the cleanup of asbestos material in and outside of the buildings. As owners of these buildings, we gave the cleanup crews permission to remove the pipeboxes and pipes, ventilation ducts, telephone poles, excess garbage and debris, and interior asbestos insulation from the A-shaft area. We also gave permission to demolish one of the buildings that we had originally envisioned as keeping for our mining museum - the old miner's dry. This building was in bad shape and we no longer felt it had value. We asked that the exterior asbestos siding on the headframe, hoist, and powerhouse buildings remain until we decide on how to deal with that issue. The cleanup work temporarily ceased in early November upon the arrival of snow with the removal of pipeboxes and the demolition of the miners dry, and it is expected that the cleanup will conclude next summer. The Remediation Team is also interested in sealing the A-shaft to prevent underground access. This would have to be done without damaging the headframe structure. 

Christmas Party: The society also organized a small Christmas get-together on December 8th 2005 at Mary's Tea Room.