250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 10:28 pm

Farewell Dino Bob

Sunday, June 12, 2016 @ 6:59 AM


Retiree Bob Campbell and  new Manager of Curatorial  Services at Exploration Place Alyssa Tobin – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. -He’s been  working with, or for , Exploration Place in Prince George  since the early ’90’s and now Bob Campbell   has officially retired from his post as Manager of Curatorial Services.

His retirement is coming much sooner than  expected says  Exploration Place CEO Tracy Calogheros, “but it is unavoidable.”

Campbell  was involved in an accident at  the Museum just before Christmas.  He suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and damaged his shoulder. The injuries have  left him unable to carry out  his  job at the Museum.

“It is a huge loss for the Museum to have Bob leaving us earlier than was intended” said  Calogheros.  So while Bob Campbell won’t be  working at the museum, Calogheros says he will still be assisting it ” We are very excited that he has agreed to work on a history book with us over the next couple of years so that we can capture that knowledge he’s been amassing for the last 15 years here in Prince George.”

Campbell joined the Fraser-Fort George Regional Museum as an institutional partner in the early 1990’s while he was still a Dinosaur Technician at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller Alberta.  He was a key figure in The Exploration Place’s institutional partnership with the Royal Tyrell and was part of several fossil hunts and digs the Museum  took part in through the 1990’s.

Along with his wife, Elizabeth, Bob was contracted to do much of the exhibit design when the Museum was expanding and rebranding as The Exploration Place in 2000.  In 2001 Campbell joined the Exploration Place staff as  Manager of Curatorial Services.

For Campbell, it’s been a very  fulfilling 15 years  “You know, you’re trying to make an experie4nce for the public, luckily here, there is a great  history.  It’s been a very active town all of its life,  and  going back  even farther, there is First Nations evidence right in town that goes back 9,500 years, so  there’s an incredible history here and that makes it  a lot easier.”

He says one the highlights  of his time with exploration Place has been rebuilding a lot of the First Nations  history in the area “A lot of it’s not a very happy history,  but it’s still  been  rewarding because the First Nations, especially the Lheidli T’enneh have  been thrilled to find out what the truth was  in what went on in the early days of the City.”

Being a curator  of a museum means  you are constantly  discovering  treasures,  and  a lot of that treasure has come in the way of photographs  “I think our photograph collection  is now about 400 thousand” says  Campbell.  And while there have been many  treasures discovered,  he says his personal favourite was learning that Wally West was not just an incredible photographer who captured  so much  of  life of Prince George on film,   Campbell  says West was also an inventor,  who  created his own  equipment to  create  large panoramic  black and white photos.

Campbell will leave the curatorial duties  in the capable hands of Alyssa Tobin.  She studied archeology  but says  she doesn’t have a different vision than that  of  her predecessor “Bob  focused on paleontology  and obviously  I enjoy archeology,  but I’ve learned a lot from Bob, so we’re actually quite similar.”.

Campbell   says it’s time for  someone new to be in the role “It’s good that the curatorial person changes,  the person who is going to be  replacing me,  will have a different focus, and more stories of  a different kind, different parts of our history  will come out,  from a fresh look and I think that’s very healthy.”




Comments for this article are closed.