Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/8/2012 (3346 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Who doesn’t like a good museum?
Especially a speciality collection, now found at the inspiring and imposing new Brandon Firehall No.1.
Did you know that summer months are the most active for fire hall tours that involve the general public?
In a recent update to councillors, fire officials stated that during June and July, Firehall No.1 has provided 30 tours for 448 people.
And August continues to be popular for public tours.
Included in that tour is a stop at a lovingly historical display in the fire hall’s museum, assembled and maintained mainly by retired Brandon firefighters. Who’d have thought there would still be an interest in the 30,000-square foot, two-storey hall, some two years after it opened?
Former Brandon mayor Dave Burgess, with help from then fire Chief Brent Dane, the city’s director of emergency communication, Linda Poole and officials with Bird Construction and Cibinel Architects, snipped the red ribbon to officially open the $11-million facility at 120 19th St. North in Sept. 2010.
And one thing that struck many early visitors was the bright red restored vintage fire engine in the museum that can be seen from the street.
Now as police officers recently settled into their state-of-the-art new station, the Brandon Police Service is also going to help ensure that no one forgets to take pride in the force’s past.
Roughly 70 people attended the ribbon-cutting on the morning of July 20 at Brandon Police Service’s new station at the corner of 10th Street and Victoria Avenue.
Mayor Shari Decter Hirst, as well as Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell and Brandon West Conservative MLA Reg Helwer attended the event.
Located at one of the busiest intersections in the city, Decter Hirst said the headquarters will be able to provide the highest possible level of service to the residents of Brandon.
But there’s something else going on behind the walls of the former grocery store complex that celebrates function over form.
Brandon Police Service Sgt. Ed Conway has collected all sorts of artifacts and pictures detailing the history of the force. And some of that collection is to be put on display at the recently completed $13-million station, which started operation on July 23.
Not only should it prove of interest to the public, Conway told the Sun, it will give new officers an appreciation of how far the force has come during its 130-year history.
“No matter how far you go into the future, you’ve always got to come from somewhere,” Conway said. “It grounds you to look where we came from.”
The collection consists of artifacts gathered by, or given to, Conway over the years. It also features items that the force had on-hand and had been donated or loaned from the public.
There are badges and crests, which includes the oldest relic — a helmet plate that dates from the early 1900s and would have adorned “Bobby” style helmets worn by constables.
All of Conway’s work was voluntary and motivated by his interest in the police force’s history. We tip our hat to him for all his fine work.
He has gathered treasures for more than 20 years and says a display at the station will finally allow him to share his collection.
Details have yet to be worked out, but it’s possible that the display will be set up in the station’s multi-purpose room, just off the main foyer.
It would be available to view by the public on request. Anyone with an item they believe would be suitable for the collection can reach Conway by calling the police station at 204-729-2345.
Conway is also currently working to find a suitable display case for the exhibits.
While it might not initially have the size or profile of the fire hall’s museum, we certainly encourage Conway in his efforts and hope folks reading this will help him with his cause.