Teamsters Freight Transportation Museum Moving to Cloverdale, really this time
April 20, 2012
April 20, 2012
Last year after I talked to curator Norm Lynch at the Teamsters Museum in Pt. Coquitlam I thought a deal was in the works to move the museum’s 21 trucks, displays, parts, trailers and archives to Merritt B.C. But to their loss, Merritt city council balked at spending money on the project, and now, for sure, the collection is going to Cloverdale, B.C. a suburb or Surrey, BC which in turn is not far from Vancouver.
This is a great location as Cloverdale is a rodeo capitol in it’s own right, with if I remember correctly the second biggest rodeo in Canada next to the Calgary Stampede. And as we all know trucks and rodeos are a natural match.
Seriously, this will be a terrific home as so many people will get to experience this collection and Surrey is itself a trucking hub. Teamsters are trying to get out of funding a museum as I guess it was costing them money to keep the trucks in quasi-storage. And Norm is relieved as he can start his retirement for real now.
I’d write more about this museum, but I just got in from Montreal and I”m tired. And I’ve already written and salivated over these trucks in print and blog previously Plus I’m going to Truck World in a few hours. So in brief , the museum was born in 1996 when Garnett Zimmerman of Teamsters local 31 charged Norm with finding a truck to celebrate the local’s 60th birthday. He did and it was a 1935 Chevy Maple Leaf. The collection grew from there and was lovingly cared for by retired teamsters and truck restoration enthusiast to this day.
After the deal went sour with Merritt, the Surrey Historical Society drew a bead on the collection and began the process of acquiring the vintage trucks and archives.
The exhibit will be temporarily located in the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, and the irony is that many of these vehicles lived in Cloverdale previously when they were part of the former BC Transportation Museum.
Lynch thinks the Surrey Historical Society, which is behind the acquisition will eventually build the museum a permanent home. For five years anyway, it will still be called the Teamsters Freight Transportation Museum which is fitting as the Teamsters predate trucking in that province.
The historical society was hoping to have the trucks on display (many of them are in running condition) by May 15, but Norm doubts it can be done that quickly. I heard that a local towing company had agreed to transport the trucks at no cost, but I can’t find the name anywhere, would mention this donor if I could. See you at Truck World, stop by the Truck News booth!
Norm Lynch, president and curator of the Teamsters Freight Transportation Museum and Archives pictured below
Harry Rudolfs has worked as a dishwasher, apprentice mechanic, editor, trucker, foreign correspondent and taxi driver. He's written hundreds of articles for North American and European journals and newspapers, including features for the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and CBC radio.
With over 30 years experience in the trucking industry he's hauled cars, steel, lumber, chemicals, auto parts and general freight as well as B-trains. He holds an honours BA in creative writing and humanities, summa cum laude. All posts by Harry Rudolfs