Ladies and Gentlemen, and Head Table Guests.
I’m sure I’m not the only person in the room happy to see the back end of 2008.
However in spite of that generally miserable year, there was at least one bright spot for the Canadian Mining Industry.
One month ago, the Teck Suite of Earth Science Galleries was opened at the Royal Ontario Museum. There are three galleries within the Suite; the Vale Inco Gallery of Minerals, the Gold and Gem Gallery and especially for us here tonight, the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Gallery.
These are all remarkable, and I’m sure, there is not a person in the room who would not learn something new during a visit – either about minerals, gems or people.
This development of the Earth Science Galleries all happened firstly because of the willingness of William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM, to recognize that Mining and Minerals, and the people who developed the remote regions of our country, are truly part of Canada’s history; and secondly, due to Teck’s wisdom and generosity in providing the largest corporate donation ever made to the ROM.
This gift not only provided for the development of these spectacular galleries but it also is creating an endowed chair in mineralogy, as well as a Digital Education Module at the ROM for thousands of school children from across the province – some of whom will enter our industry and eventually join their peers in the Hall of Fame Gallery.
The Agreement with the ROM allows us to place duplicate Hall of Fame Galleries at any location in the country which the Hall of Fame Board chooses.
At Teck’s request, the first of these will be installed at the B.C. Museum of Mining at Britannia Beach Mining. This is located on the road to Whistler and will be ready in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This will be first of several locations which will make the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame a truly national feature.
The Hall of Fame Gallery is totally interactive, very flexible and user friendly – it is state of the art as are the other two Galleries in the Teck Suite. It will be updated annually to show new inductees.
You can call up any inductee you wish and his or her story is presented to you. In addition, the daily uses for over a dozen minerals and metals are shown in fascinating ways.
On a separate screen you can view scenes from today’s modern mines and mills, demonstrating the great use we make of high technology which allows our Canadian industry to be so productive. (Much of the file for this multi-media exhibit was provided by Teck). Almost surely and certainly hopefully, this will change the mental images of our industry, held by probably the majority of our urbanized society.
Creating the Hall of Fame Gallery required a large team of experts from the ROM including its geological staff headed by Dr. Kim Tait as well as the people assigned to the design, writing and production of the interactive material.
Would all members of the team and ROM staff members present, including William Thorsell, please stand so we can show our appreciation.
This group was however largely dependent upon the Hall of Fame’s own staff who worked many, many devoted and long hours making certain the Inductee and metals and mining stories were correct, and that the stories and photos matched.
I’d now like to ask you to recognize the Hall of Fame staff who made such a great contribution. She was the leader of a very small band of part time assistants including Ed Freeman, Virginia Heffernan and Margaret Werniuk. Nean Allman, please get on your feet.
Finally, I’d like to ask all the members of Teck who are here tonight to stand and receive our thanks for making this all possible, Don, this includes you.
Because of your generosity many thousands of children and adults from across the entire province and ultimately across the country will have an opportunity, never before available to learn about Canadian Mining and the people who down through the years have created this powerful, international industry of ours and which was so instrumental in opening our country. Think of the communities, Trail, Yellowknife, Noranda, Val d’Or, Cobalt and Blind River are just a few.
I’m just about finished except to ask you to write down a couple of dates.
Saturday, May 9, 2009. There will be a Black Tie Gala Dinner at the ROM put on by the Hall of Fame. Not only will the Teck Suite of Galleries be open, but you will be entertained by the Cowboy Junkies.
Three members of this internationally famous band have the last name of Timmins and yes, they are descendants of two of the earliest members of the Hall of Fame, Jules and Noah Timmins.
This internationally famous band plays to sell out audiences not only at Massey Hall but in such international venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Royal Albert Hall in London.
We are not only lucky to have them but they have waived their normal fees, allowing the Hall an opportunity to make a decent profit and establish additional sites for the Hall of Fame as chosen by the Board of Directors.
There is a card at each seat which you can use to order tickets either individually or by tables to the Gala on May 9th.
I urge you to order as early as possible. Seating is limited and a number of tables have already been sold.
Finally on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 the Hall of Fame is providing a reception at the ROM for all inductees and their families only. Any group or company wishing to assist in the cost of this reception will be recognized as a sponsor.
Director, The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame