People love people stories, and we have no shortage of them from Britannia’s rich history. The stories of working conditions, home life, and random antics never fail to capture attention. These stories are like classic radio – all the good stuff, none of the forgettable. Imagine though how these stories continue to create an image of mining that is not reflective of today’s reality.
That is where our Careers in Mining display will help change things.
Careers in Mining – the first thought you might have is that this is going to be a display aimed entirely at encouraging you to look into a job or career in mining. You would be partly right. The display, funded by the BC HR Taskforce, is intended to raise awareness of the types of work available in mining and its associated industries. However, it is also intended to present the stories of real people within the industry and provide a glimpse into modern mining from a personal perspective.
The installation consists of the stories of six people that work in mining as well a panel on the diversity of careers in mining. Together, the display represents different aspects and stages of mining from exploration to remediation. The first three stories went in on Monday (November 17). They are the stories of Steve Lavoie, mechanic, Loretta Mighton, haul truck driver, and Scott Weston, environmental scientist.
The stories of Anastasia Ledwon, geologist (P.Geo), Angela McConkey, master blaster, and Dave Potter, emergency responder as well as the diversity display went in today (November 19).
The initial plan for our Careers display had three of our spotlighted professionals located near our haul truck and three located near our tunnel entrance. The install by the haul truck went as planned. Installation near the tunnel was another matter.
When our maintenance crew looked at the area near the tunnel, they were concerned that they would not be able to dig deep enough for the concrete foundations before hitting bedrock – how fitting Angela, a master blaster, was one of the professionals to be profiled in this location.
We identified another feasible location, but it needed work – installation in this new location would be delayed until at least next spring. Where could we place these displays in the interim? We decided to place two of them on the route to the tunnel, and the third near our Assay. Thematically, it works for Dave, a mine rescue technician, and Anastasia, a geologist. As for Angela, her location as you head to the tunnel is guaranteed to get your attention – something important when it comes to working with explosives.
The profiles include life-size cutouts, which immediately drew the attention of some of our staff members. More than one staff member has been startled to see a ‘person’ on site after hours. Of course, that moment of surprise was quickly replaced with laughter upon realizing the long awaited careers displays had gone in.
Initial observation has been that people are looking at the displays and even posing with the cut-outs. One thing is certain – the displays do get your attention.
Thank you to Steve, Loretta, Scott, Anastasia, Angela, and Dave. It is your stories that have made this display possible. Thank you as well to the companies – Hemmera, Huckleberry, Teck, SMS Equipment, Taseco, and UTM Exploration Services – for being supportive of this project. A sincere thank you also goes to the British Columbia HR Taskforce for providing funding as well as technical guidance, encouragement, and support for this project.
On your next visit to the Museum, be sure to take a modern look at mining with this display. You might be surprised.