First Update

This is just a short update to let those of you on the declared totem pole donor’s list know the state of affairs. This project was made known to all past and present employees just one week ago. As of this writing, there are 93 shares spoken for. That is an amazing number and all of us who were in on the planning of this thank you. We had a meeting yesterday of the planning group and the decision was made to freeze the share price but not the share buy in. The share is to be $50 but we did not want to exclude anyone who may hear of this in the weeks ahead. To that end, we have expanded the window to staff past and present until October 31, 2010.  The details of payment will be made clear to all of you in the next few days. We are setting up a bank account that myself and Al Thompson will have signing authority over. From this account we will pay our expenses of $3100 to Alan Mabee, less his $50 share, and $200 for transportation. The balance will go as seed money for the Conservation Fund that will be set up through the Friends of the Royal Albert Museum Society. We are meeting with our contacts at the museum this Thursday to get more details on the conservation plan as well as the Conservation Fund. Members of the public who have an interest in this historical project who are non staff will be welcome to contribute to this fund. As well, those of you, who very generously offered vast sums well beyond the single share price, may wish to contribute to this.

This past Saturday, many members of the public were given a glimpse at our project as the totem was on display at the CTV Edmonton open house. It was not a planned attraction, but rather a last minute one that resulted when some trucking difficulties stranded the pole and trailer at the station.  This serendipitous event caused great excitement among those that came to hear me spin tales about the totems colourful past and future. I heard from scores of people who that were thrilled to see the landmark they knew for all those years and many who were interested in contributing to the preservation of this huge piece of our history.

There have also been two fascinating parts to the totem’s pre and post Sunwapta history that we learned recently. I will fill you all in on all of this in my next email along with details on where to send your $50 cheque. We will hope to have the payments in short order to pay back Mr. Mabee bankrolling of this as well as our volunteer transportation service’s fuel costs.

Again, thanks for the enthusiasm and pledged funds on this very important project.


John Hanson