Thursday night, Sept. 20th was the regular meeting of the BHS and we had a enough bodies to fill a dinosaur’s belly! There was a lot of interest in our guest speakers, so our President Ian MacPherson hurried thru the particulars of the meeting to allow time for our guests to speak.
We observed a moment of silence in respect for Isabel MacDonald and Kaye Furness , two long time members and supporters, who we’ve lost this year and also for the two missing fishers.
Financially, the season is well behind last year’s. Of course, it was the 150th celebration that brought so many in 2017. But our numbers are down: as of week 11 we had 788 visitors compared to 2016 when we had 839. (2017 was 928). Dollars reflect that drop too: $5060 to $5162. (2017 was $8150). Plenty of stock to start next year!
Linda Nobles’ interest in dinosaurs began as a kid in Montreal, when she discovered dinosaur cards in boxes of Red Rose tea. As an adult and part owner of the Belfast Mini-Mills, she thought she’d never get away for ‘digs’ in the summer months.
So she had some adventures in Florida searching dark water rivers for shark and crocodile teeth. She showed us a hand-sized ebony megalodon tooth: they were the largest prehistoric shark that ever lived. It was hard to believe it was 20 million years old.
Then she discovered Paleo Prospectors. http://www.paleoprospectors.com, an organization for those interested in palaeontology that provide the food, hotels and guides so everyday people can hunt for dinosaur bones. Thru them, Linda has visited South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming, looking for T-Rex teeth that sell for $8 – $10 million dollars or, if they find pieces of teeth, $1,000 per inch.
Linda showed us a turtle shell she had found shattered, and detailed how it was to recovered and she also showed us a triceratops horn 130 million years old.
There are many dangers involved in this severest of hobbies: the heat is top most and they must remain hydrated, drinking water every 20 minutes regardless of thirst. Lightening strikes have also been a fatal danger, dry lightening strikes especially.
Chris Ruprecht is a paleo-artist from Charlottetown and a friend of Linda’s. He earned his living as a chef until his hobby took over. He brought us a model of a compsugnathus, a 45 cm/18” high, fast running, three toed dinosaur that was a scavenger during the Jurassic period. He sculpted it with various types of clay and painted it based on studies of present-day iguanas and lizards. He is going to patent the paint job. Chris has worked for Disney in the past and considers this dinosaur to be the first of three. He has renovated his garage so he can make a life-sized T-rex. He’s in talks with the Confed Centre for a 2019 show.
Doesn’t he look like he’s going to blink…or snap at your nose?!!
Linda and Chris each have supportive spouses. Linda has a whole room with her finds and her buys. Her husband once gave her a sabre tooth tiger skull for Christmas and she brought him, too. She plans to have a room at the Mini Mills to display her hobby.
Ian continued the meeting, talking about our proposed Arts Centre and the land sites we’re considering: 15 acres behind the Croft House from the BCDC/45 acres from the Martines family bordered by the TCH and Selkirk Park Rd. One of the artifacts we’re hoping to house is the Canada Tree. Meetings have taken place with key fundraisers in Charlottetown and more are scheduled in Ottawa next week.
The Belfast People video is complete and ready for viewing: these are the interviews that took place to provide the information in the book.
The new doors needed in the Croft House as dictated by the safety report have been referred to a contractor.
The Quilt Board sign needs to be replaced. It is faded and shrinking. I researched the Boards: they are driving trails and seen in 22 states and 4 other provinces. A motion was passed to do this in the spring of 2019. The Arts & Heritage Trail will remind us!
Future fundraisers will be needed but we need to spread out the load, encourage new people to become members as more hands = less work.
Donald MacD. spoke for the cook book – he and Eliza have met and they’re going thru old cookbooks and looking outward for suggestions.
Doris MacD. asked for ideas for the Christmas Market, date, volunteers for two committees: canteen and promotion.
After the financials were discussed the floor was opened for questions to our guests and some hands on exploration by our visitors, young and old.
In the foreground is the sabre tooth tiger skull! and Russell&Darlene in the back…
Here is young Harry Lewis who was fascinated and full of questions for Linda.
Lunch and conversation was enjoyed and we managed to turn the lights off before 10pm.
Watch Coopers’ for posters about upcoming events – we’ve been promising a concert all summer and the Christmas Market date is yet to be decided.
Finally, I’d like to say ‘good-bye’ as the manager here at the Croft House, after six years. It’s been an honour to tell your unique story and meet so many wonderful visitors and Polly descendants. It was so different from my nursing career, so nice not to work shifts and so close to home. Other than that, meeting the visitors has been the highlight…counting up cash, not so much!