Surrey society eyes Teamsters truck museum

The Surrey Heritage Society wants to relocate a vintage truck collection to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

This 1946 Chev Maple Leaf is part of the Teamsters Transportation Museum collection.

This 1946 Chev Maple Leaf is part of the Teamsters Transportation Museum collection.

The Surrey Heritage Society is moving ahead with plans to return a collection of vintage trucks to Cloverdale.

The society, formed in 2010, is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of heritage assets in the city.

First on the society’s to-do list is to relocate the Teamsters Freight Transportation Museum and Archives collection from Port Coquitlam to the former Surrey Museum building at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

The collection includes restored vintage trucks built between 1914 to the 1950s, plus photos, license plates, tools, magazines, books and trucking paraphernalia.

Many of the vehicles were on view in Cloverdale between 1987 to 1992 as part of the former B.C. Transportation Museum, society director Paul Orazietti said.

The Teamsters are looking to donate their collection to a new society, and are anxious to do it soon. Their lease is up at the end of February, meaning the collection will be needing a new home.

“Right now we have this opportunity. The group wants to divest themselves of this museum,” Orazietti said. “The majority of vehicles they have were here.”

Surrey Heritage Society members – who include prominent local businessman Bruno Zappone – believe acquiring the collection will be a good fit for Cloverdale, and bolster the historic town centre as a heritage destination.

The Surrey Heritage Society is looking for $12,000 to help relocate the Freight Transportation Museum.

The society has asked for council’s support; a staff report looking into the feasibility of the plan is expected to make its way to Surrey City Council on Feb. 20.

Groups have offered to help move the vehicles at no cost, Orazietti said,

The museum building, at the corner of 176 Street and 60 Avenue, was most recently home to the Cloverdale Seniors Centre, which relocated to the new Cloverdale Recreation Centre last year.

Meanwhile, the public is invited to hear more about the Surrey Heritage Society’s plans at an open house next week. That meeting takes place Feb. 16, 7 p.m. at Sullivan Hall, 6306 152 Street.

The society is also launching a membership drive, as well as planning a fundraising event at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino during live racing March 2.

Tickets are available from the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce at 604-574-9802 or from the Cloverdale BIA at 604-576-3155.

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