Comments by Vic Juba
Chairman Ken, honored platform guests, ladies and gentleman – let me start by stating "man has this ever been a lot of work!!" I have been dreaming about a heavy oil museum for perhaps 25 years or more but what you will see today is far more than I had ever hoped for or even imagined. I was looking for some artifacts, lots of old pictures and most importantly, one-on-one interviews with some of our oil pioneers. Well we did all that and then some and rightfully so. After all, our heavy oil history goes back to the 1920’s and Saskatchewan's first natural gas well came into production just to the north-east of our Exhibition Grounds on Easter Friday 1934.
What I want to relate to you is how the Heavy Oil Centre developed. It started out to be a Heavy Oil Centre of Excellence, then the Heavy Oil Resource Centre focusing on the heavy oil skills and technology which we could market, then the Heavy Oil Visitors Centre and finally today, the OTS Heavy Oil Science Centre – OTS, of course refers to the Lloydminster Oilfield Technical Society whose contribution I will detail a little later.
There are many people that I wish to thank and unfortunately, you always miss somebody and I wish to apologize for that in advance. I’ll try my best to acknowledge everyone.
My notes show that in February 1993, Lloydminster Community Futures agreed to cover the cost of hiring someone to conduct interviews with some of our oil pioneers. Not only did we get the job done with Wendy Gunn (nee Huard), at the throttle, but Community Futures also provided the funding to purchase the old issues of the Lloydminster Times and acid free boxes to store the same. And to top it off, they provided a financial donation as well. Not to forget the secretarial services provided by Adele Zack and Betty Rammel. So thank you Lloydminster Community Futures for kicking off our project – our thanks to Bud Miller, Board Chair, the Board Members and Bill Kondro.
The next step took a little longer. We heard that the Lloydminster Oilfield Technical Society was looking for a project where the funds from the hosting the heavy oil shows would be used. Their initial thought was to build a "Club Room" and have it adorned with various oil memorabilia. Hamish Garland, Bill Kondro and I attended several meetings with the OTS to try and convince them to look at a broader scope combining meeting rooms with a heavy oil display centre. While these discussions were underway, we did accumulate a number of artifacts and on September 23, 1993 we officially opened the Heavy Oil Display section within the Barr Colony Mu