Rick Hansen poses for a photo with the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society and some of their Nova Scotia fiddle exchange students after the young musicians performed St. Elmo’s Fire for him at the opening of the exhibit. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Musician Don Alder played at the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin on June 29, at the opening of the Canada’s Man in Motion exhibit featuring Rick Hansen Man in Motion Tour memorabilia. Alder was in the vehicle with Hansen when they were both thrown from the back of the truck and Hansen’s spinal cord was damaged. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Rick Hansen, from left, is given a framed copy of the 2023 Williams Lake Stampede poster by Willie Dye, parade organizer. Don Alder, Rick’s friend, was also given a framed copy of the poster. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune) A copy of the Williams Lake Tribune is a part of the Canada’s Man in Motion exhibit of Rick Hansen memorabilia. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Rick Hansen shakes the hand of the doctor who helped save his life after his spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle crash. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Rick Hansen, left, shakes hands with Williams Lake Mayor Surinderpal Rathor, centre, while Williams Lake Stampede parade organizer Willie Dye looks on. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune) Rick Hansen chats with Brayden Methot of Williams Lake who became paralyzed from the neck down after being a passenger in a vehicle crash in 2014. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Rick Hansen himself was on hand to open the Canada’s Man in Motion exhibition at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin on Thursday, June 29.
The museum was packed with supporters, including Hansen’s past coaches and teachers Charlie Wyse, and Jack Burgar.
Wyse recalled Hansen and his basketball teammates Don Alder and Randy Brink who were on the fishing trip before Hansen was injured.
“Rick, right from the get-go had leadership ability,” said Wyse.
He described Hansen as a natural athlete. Wyse stayed in touch with Hansen after his injury.
Don Alder was also at the opening, is now an accomplished musician and played a couple of songs before speeches took over the microphone.
Rick Hansen gave a heartfelt talk, thanking the community for their support in his recovery and during his Man in Motion World Tour. Hansen then asked all the teachers in the crowd from when he was in school to raise their hands, and then thanked them all for their role in helping him in finding a new path forward.
MLA Lorne Doerkson spoke, and so did city of Williams Lake mayor Surinderpal Rathor.
Williams Lake Stampede parade organizer Willie Dye presented both Rick Hansen and Don Alder with framed 2023 Stampede posters.
It was just two days past the 50-year anniversary of the day Hansen was injured in the crash on his way back from a fishing trip in Bella Coola with his high school teammates and friends Alder and Brink.
The exhibit at the museum is expected to be up until September and the museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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