Remember key Pitt Meadows figures

Pioneers have left us in the last year, they'll all be missed

As the Pitt Meadows Museum’s year draws to a close, staff and volunteers are preparing for two weeks of well-earned vacation.

During our time-off, some of us will reflect on the recent passing of three people who all contributed so much to the development of the museum and the non-profit society that has overseen it for more than 30 years.

On Nov. 4, Grant ‘Red’ Brown passed away.  Mr. Brown spent thousands of hours working on the artifacts and the interiors and exteriors of the various sites the museum has occupied over the years.

The exhibit cases he constructed are still an integral part of the Old General Store site of the present Museum.

His organization of engine shows at the museum will also be remembered in the community, and the countless hours he spent with his small corps of volunteers, and preparing the Hoffmann and Son site for opening in 2001 will always be remembered by the museum.

On Nov. 9, Sieb Swierstra quietly passed away. Most Pitt Meadows residents will remember him as the face of Remembrance Day in Pitt Meadows.  Still others will remember him for his years on council. At the museum, we also remember him for his patient explanations about diking and the Pitt Polder area, his recent help with the museum’s “Hailing from Holland” discovery box, and for his commitment to ensuring the accuracy of the listing of Pitt Meadows war dead on the cenotaph.

Finally, on Nov. 15, Harvey McEwen passed away in White Rock.  In the late 1970s and 1980s, Harvey was the owner of the building that is now the home of the museum and, for a period of time, he was also the president of the museum society.

It was Harvey who had the General Store site designated a heritage structure in 1988, guaranteeing its preservation for public enjoyment for the decades to come.

The community also lost Jackie Sharpe at the end of June.

Mr. Sharpe was one of the best reference resources this museum had and always willingly provided information to help with exhibits, research requests and simple curiosity.

All of them will be missed.

May all our readers have a peaceful and very Merry Christmas.

Leslie Norman is curator of Pitt Meadows Museum and Archives.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Service Canada office in downtown Maple Ridge reopened on Wednesday. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Dalton rises in House of Commons to ask for Service Canada office opening

Office in Maple Ridge had been closed since start of pandemic, opened Wednesday

Maggie Coles-Lyster leads the pack during the annual racing of Jeremy’s Roubaix on Sunday.
After long break due to pandemic, bike racing returns to BC

Rock the Ridge brings racing back to Pitt Meadows Sunday

BC NDP candidate Lisa Beare said her party would replace Pitt Meadows secondary if re-elected. (Special to The News)
Election promises should bring new secondary school to Pitt Meadows

School board will be talking to new education minister soon: Carreras

If you have a letter you’d like to submit to the editor for consideration, please email us at <a href="mailto:editor@mapleridgenews.com"><strong>editor@mapleridgenews.com</strong></a>. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
LETTER: Bad apples ruining social housing for all

Writer critical of system that penalizes law-biding residents over homeless who break the laws

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Most Read