Haney now has its own sports hall of fame – if you will – erected inside the Maple Ridge Museum.
Earlier this month, the museum unveiled a new, permanent exhibit that pays tribute to the long and rich history of sports in this community, and much of the credit for the display is owed to museum assistant Tisha Acuna.
She’s been working to pull the small but encapsulating exhibit together since November. It’s the first of the permanent display cases to be redone since the museum’s renovations and case refurbishing efforts last year, explained museum curator Melissa Rollit.
“…through the years, the city has created a culture that has helped inspire young athletes to follow their dreams, whether watching or playing, sports continues to be a source of fun entertainment for the whole community,” Rollit said.
“It’s just really exciting to be able to put out displays where we can play around with the visuals and create really dynamic displays,” she added.
The new exhibit explores the local sports history complete with tidbits of history of famous athletes, photographs through the years, and a mix of sports memorabilia.
Acuna was asked about her motivation for creating this display and collecting together all the artifacts from a variety of sports and recreation realms such as lacrosse, tennis, skating, track, hockey, racing, and even soap box derby. But the biggest section within the exhibit is devoted to the community’s fascination and love of baseball.
“I knew that Maple Ridge had a very big and passionate sports community and [I] wanted to do a display that looked at how it all started and how it grew into the culture it is today,” said Acuna.
“The ability that sports and recreation has to bring together a community is special, and I believe Maple Ridge truly exemplifies that. I wanted to create a display that not only honours the history, but also inspires people of all ages to get involved in local teams and clubs.”
Her favourite part of the display is the Hometown Heroes component, which she took time to research.
She learned about some prominent local athletes and their accomplishments, looking at both their time growing up in Maple Ridge, as well as exploring their professional world.
“I had heard many of their names before, watching games on TV, but didn’t know their beginnings, so that was really fun for me to research. Obviously, I couldn’t include all the athletes who have made it big, but I am looking forward to hearing stories from visitors if they have anything to share,” Acuna said.
The new sports history of Maple Ridge exhibit is now on display at the museum, which is located at 22520 116th Ave., just off the Haney Bypass.
Other permanent exhibits include one about the Haney Brick and Tile Company, which once occupied the museum site, plus an early settlers corner, and exhibits on the Katzie First Nation, Japanese Canadian settlers, toys, logging, farming, blacksmithing, and the telephone exchange.
There are also temporary exhibits that rotate through, and an online research database that visitors are welcome to explore.
More information is available online at mapleridgemuseum.org.
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