Truck museum officially opens

Surrey's newest heritage attraction, the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum, will be a ‘drawing card’ for Cloverdale. See slideshow.

Acting Surrey mayor Mary Martin

A celebratory crowd turned out for last week’s grand opening of Surrey’s newest heritage attraction – the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum.

On Oct. 9, more than a year since a fleet of vintage trucks arrived in Cloverdale, supporters, volunteers and guests gathered for speeches and the official ribbon cutting.

With dignitaries ranging from acting Surrey mayor Mary Martin and B.C. cabinet minister Shirley Bond to representatives of the Teamsters Freight Museum and Archives and others, it was a big night for members of the Surrey Heritage Society.

The new museum at 6050 176 Street opened last May in the old Surrey Museum site after nearly a year of preparations and is home to a collection of beautifully-preserved freight and work vehicles.

Part of the collection was amassed by Bob King, whose niece Norma McCormack was on hand to thank those involved for preserving a slice of B.C. transportation history.

She recalled how her uncle had saved up his money to purchase his first truck as a newly married man living in the rental next to her parent’s home. “It just mushroomed from there,” she said. “It’s just interesting to think how it all evolved and how his dream materialized.”

The trucks, donated to the provincial government, were on display in Cloverdale as part of the Heritage Transportation Centre, which closed in the 1990s.

Surrey Heritage Society president Paul Orazietti credited the Teamsters, including Norm Lynch, the former curator of the Teamsters Freight Museum and Archives in Port Coquitlam.

“They’re part of the history of this collection, and like the torch at the Olympics, they were part of keeping this history alive. There are a lot of people here who kept the history alive.”

Orazietti also thanked the list of sponsors and donors who helped make the project a reality.

Surrey Firefighters brought out a couple of their own vintage fire trucks at short notice to display at the event.

In addressing the crowd, Bond – Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, as well as Labour, marveled at the volunteer spirit on display, and said the museum will attract visitors from all over the province.

“I live in Prince George and I know there are people who will travel all the way here to see museums like this,” Bond said. “I think this will be a real drawing card for your community.”

Stephanie Cadieux, Surrey-Cloverdale MLA, also offered her congratulations.

“The passion of the people in this community is tremendous,” Cadieux said. “It’s a long time in the making,” she added, calling it a tremendous addition to “our little centre of the universe,” a reference to Bill Reid, a former Surrey Heritage Society director a booster of the project who passed away in May.

Judy Villeneuve, chair of the city’s cultural committee, said she’s looking forward to bringing her grandson to the new museum.

“Congratulations to all the people who worked really hard,” she said. “When you first came before council, we were a little bit skeptical on how you were going to get all the trucks to fit in this museum.”

She said Surrey is putting together a cultural marketing plan that includes the museum.

Acting mayor Mary Martin helped officially open the museum, which she said gives Surrey residents a deeper understanding of the city’s founding decades.

She offered special thanks to the Surrey Heritage Society.

“Your ongoing dedication to preserving our heritage continues to inspire us to learn about the generations that shaped our city.”

Director and volunteer Harold Wellenbrink recalled the countless hours spent cleaning and polishing the floors – just one aspect of the long road to the grand opening.

“All in all, in a short period of time we have become a destination to many individuals who love heritage and history and particularly the vintage trucks on display,” said the evening’s M.C., local historian Roger Bose.

The trucks have been “lovingly restored and fiercely protected over the years,” he added.

For more information on the museum, visit http://www.bcvintagetruckmuseum.org.

See related: Letter: The Secret History of Cloverdale’s Vintage Trucks Revealed.

Just Posted

Structure fire closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

GUIDE: Rodeo, community events in Cloverdale this weekend

Bed races, chili cook-off, parade and the rodeo itself

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly threatening another youth with a knife in Cloverdale

This was Thursday at a park in the 17200-block of 61A Avenue, Sergeant Chad Greig told the Now-Leader

Jeep totalled, four young people in hospital, after single-vehicle crash in Surrey

Mounties have not ruled out any possible factors in what led to the overnight crash

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Most Read