COLUMNS: Never too old to learn

A large number of seniors, and some who aren’t, crammed into the library meeting room last week to discuss the future of the 70 “beds”.

A large number of seniors, and some who aren’t, crammed into the library meeting room last week to discuss the future of the 70 “beds” recently allocated to the area by Interior Health. Mayor Walt Cobb and CRD Director John Massier answered what questions they could but, of course, they have no control or even any say in where those beds will end up.

If I am reading this correctly, the community’s #1 choice would be a public facility on the Cariboo Lodge site. #2 a private facility at Cariboo Lodge site with public spaces and, #3, beds added to Deni House.

But, again, if I am reading this correctly, what the community wants will likely have nothing to do with the end result. Interior Health has its own agenda.

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We’re never too old to learn.

I was curator (volunteer) for the local museum for years but never did have any formal training, just what I learned from books, on line, asking real curators, whatever. My responsibility was the collection, and nagging to remind everyone to appreciate that each and every item was a unique and precious part of our history, and that people donated their treasures to the museum trusting they would be respected and preserved.

Among the many things I didn’t know was that freezing textiles before they are added to a collection kills insect infestations. The idea is to quick freeze items before the bugs have a chance to adapt themselves to a different climate. The Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria says putting items in a chest freezer for 72 hours at -20C does the job.

Sound familiar? According to experts, the Mountain Pine beetles went wild because milder winter weather meant there were no cold spells to stop them. There is good reason to believe the textiles in the 153 Mile Store have survived so well because they were subject to cold temperatures over the years.

If anyone has an unwanted freezer that dips to -20C. I’m sure the museum society would give it a good home.

The museum’s annual general meeting is tonight, by the way, 7 p.m. at city hall.

Diana French is a freelance columnist, former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.