New society may seek truck museum

The new Surrey Heritage Society aims to fundraise and advocate for projects dedicated to preservation and conservation of historic assets.

The baby’s been delivered, but it hasn’t started crawling yet.

That’s how Paul Orazietti introduced the new Surrey Heritage Society last week to members of the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association and Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce.

Orazietti, who’s one of the directors of the new society, says it was formed to fundraise and advocate for projects dedicated to the preservation and conservation of heritage assets in the City of Surrey.

It’s led by president Bruno Zappone, a prominent Cloverdale resident, and the society hopes to launch a membership drive soon.

“We’re trying to bring in people who are passionate about advocating for the protection and conservation of history in this city,” Orazietti said.

One of its first projects may be to take on the Teamsters Freight Transportation Museum, moving its collection of 18 vintage trucks from Port Coquitlam to Cloverdale. The Teamsters society is looking to donate their museum to a new society that can carry on with the conservation, restoration, and preservation of its trucks.

The collection was part of the former B.C. Transportation Museum that used to be located in Cloverdale until it was closed in 1993 and its contents disbursed. One of the more noteworthy items was ex-Beattle John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce.

Expo ’86 chairman Jim Pattison arranged to have the Rolls loaned from Ripleys Believe it or Not to the world’s fair. Title was later transferred to Jim Pattison Industries, and the B.C. billionaire donated the car to the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria.

Orazietti said there have already been initial discussions with the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Society to consider using the Alice MacKay building as a truck and tractor museum site on the Rodeo Fairgrounds.

Some of the Surrey Heritage Society directors would like to propose that the society creates a partnership to allow the society to acquire the museum, and include antique farming equipment and interactive displays to create a heritage discovery centre on the fairgrounds.

Several cities are vying for the Teamsters’ collection, but Surrey is the currently the front-runner, Orazietti said.

For more information, contact the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association at 604 576-3155 or the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce at 604-574-9802.

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