White Rock’s antique fire truck could have a permanent home at the White Rock fire hall, if a current vision for the historic vehicle comes to fruition.
White Rock Firefighters president Andrew Cram and member Scott Booth appeared digitally before council’s Monday night (Feb. 8) meeting with a presentation concerning the restored 1925 Studebaker fire truck.
Acquired by the city’s volunteer firefighting force when it was first established in 1934 as one of two original city fire trucks, it was decommissioned in 1948.
Cram and Booth told council the association would like to move the truck – temporarily located at the city’s parks maintenance yard since 2013 – to a permanent glass-enclosure extension in front of the city fire hall at 15315 Pacific Ave.
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The proposed enclosure would be similar to one at the Langley City fire hall that houses that city’s own vintage fire truck and a vintage fire truck display at Port Moody’s Inlet Centre Fire Hall, they said.
Chief administrative officer Guillermo Ferrero confirmed, however, that staff had estimated the cost for the move and building such an extension at some $350,000.
Council endorsed a motion from Coun. Anthony Manning that staff report on whether Community Amenity Contribution funding from ongoing development could be used to pay for the relocation and building the enclosure.
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Booth said that while firefighters have not done any fundraising for the proposal to date, there had been a lot of interest from the White Rock Rotary Club in holding events to fundraise for it.
Booth – who was heavily involved in the restoration of the truck from 2007 to 2010 – shared photographs of the restoration and noted the vintage vehicle had already been on display at the fire hall until the fire department had to make room for a new truck, after which it spent a year on display at White Rock Museum and Archives.
“The truck is in no need of repair,” Booth said.
“It needs a good detail, since it’s been stored in the parks garage for quite a few years now. It hasn’t been stored outside at all. It’s in perfect shape.”
Coun. David Chesney said he would support “anything we could possibly do to keep it in our community and display it.”
“This is a wonderful piece of our history, and I fully support the enclosure you’re talking about,” Coun. Scott Kristjanson said. “It would be a wonderful thing to preserve our history and our heritage.”
Booth explained that the intention would be to ‘decommission’ the truck from running condition – by removing all fluids so that it could stay in good condition while remaining on static display.
He said, however, that it would be nice if the enclosure had a roll-up door and the truck was movable so that it could appear at outside events such as the firefighters’ annual pancake breakfast. No alterations would be made to the truck or motor, so that it could easily be returned to running condition if that were needed in the future.
Display boards previously used at the museum – outlining both the history of the truck and firefighting in White Rock in general – would also be used in the proposed enclosure, Booth said.