In Case of Nuclear War

For our Dark Side of Port Moody bus tours, when we’ll take visitors into a Coldwar-era bomb shelter, we’ve had to dig up an interesting artifact of the time: our copy of the Canadian government’s 11 Steps to Survival booklet.

11 Steps to Survival

In the introduction, Prime Minister Diefenbaker warns that “nuclear war is possible either by the intended actions of evil madmen or by miscalculation.”

As “little can be done to prevent damage to property,” the booklet focuses on making sure survivors survive:

“If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside your home and leave them outside.”

11 Steps to Survival Radioactive Dust

(Click on the photo to read more.)

Our apologies for the lack of updates: we are super busy with grant applications and a whopping seven events for the month of October! We will try to update the Museum’s blog with all the exciting comings and goings more often.

Paul Martin, Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

No, they didn’t visit the Museum. But they have something else in common. They are all polio survivors, as is Paul Martin’s father, Jean Chr├ętien, and many others.

We know this because of a little group of six that came in to visit the Museum this afternoon.

Last week we had gotten a call asking if we can accept a scooter group. We pointed out that our Museum is accessible, though the Venosta railcar and the washrooms are not. The scooter group was ok with that and they booked a guided tour.

At the end of our tour today, a lady from the group mentioned that they were all polio survivors.

They explained how they all remembered trying to get out of bed to go to the bathroom when they first realized the extent of their paralysis.

One lady came down with polio in 1953, another during the epidemic of 1952 and, from across the room, a gentleman said that he was struck by the virus in 1947.

They mentioned that the Richmond Museum is working with them to put together something on the history of polio in Canada. It’s a sad story that needs to be told. As one of the scooter visitors said, we young’uns have no idea.

September Garden Update

1. I have quite a few different plants to get settled into the garden for next year. I will probably overwinter them at my place (allow them to develop a better root system – I will keep them in a greenhouse as well).

The plants include: columbine, rudbekia, echineciea, lupine, hyssop, licorice, lady’s mantle, perennial poppy and golden allysum. I started them from seed and they are coming along nicely.

I also have some other plants that will be ready in the next year or so for use somewhere – I started these for use elsewhere but right now have so many that I might use some at the Museum. They are ornamental grasses – I have blue fescue grass and a pink pampas grass. The pampas grass will take some time to reach maturity yet. It’s kinda rare; I’m interested as to how it will turn out. The bloom is on a 10-foot stem and is tinted light red as opposed to the usual ivory colour.

2. I was able to root new plants of the heritage azalea that we have – the yellow one. I have several plants of it; they have to be hardened off over the winter. We can develop a hedge of this plant next year somewhere.

I also have rooted more hydrangeas from my collection at home. I also rooted quite a few of a dogwood shrub. It has a white bloom arranged in linear form.

Note that these shrubs will take a couple of years to develop to anything significant.

3. As for plans for the garden, I have been more or less planning on:

a. Putting more hydrangeas in with the ones already planted by sidewalk. Hopefully I can put some in of various colour – i.e. light blue, dark blue, red and white to make an interesting colour variation. I also thought I would move the coast strawberries to this spot – they will like the acidic soil better and do better there, although I’m concerned about less sun.

b. For the garden opposite the hydrangeas, I have a bunch of crocus bulbs to plant there. They will have a good effect next spring.

c. The main vegetable garden – when we finish harvesting everything, will plant winter rye – a “green” composting crop. Winter rye will fix nitrogen into the soil and also help in the placement of other nutrients. In the early spring, we then plow it under and it decomposes in the soil, making it richer. An organic way to garden.

d. I have to prune the mock orange; it is out of control.

e. Probably near end of september, will change the plants in the pot in the well – put in some ornamental kale as it is winter hardy.

By Tom Galinis

Arts Connect's New Website

Our local regional arts council has a new website. We’re on there too, with our postcard barrel. Check it out!


During the Labour Day Weekend, some of us went to explore the Fort Langley CN Station. We checked their typewriters. Nope, no number ones on the keyboard.

This small train station museum also has a railway garden (the station was moved from its original location a few metres away to be closer to the tourist hub of Fort Langley), a 1900s velocipede (borrowed from Fort Langley’s other museum, the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum), a 1947 railcar and a 1920s caboose.

The volunteer in the railcar confirmed what we guessed: that early typewriters didn’t have the “one” key because the lowercase “L” could do double duty.

Hourglass Rolls

A man walks into the Museum yesterday.

That’s not a log debarker,” he says. “That’s a section of hourglass rolls and it has a set of log kicker arms.”

We wrote down his information. How did he know this?

“I worked for a log debarker manufacturer – I know what a log debarker looks like and that ain’t a log debarker!”

We ran it over with the Curator afterwards. He’s heard it called hourglass rolls and log roller. Now we just have to get the sign fixed.