A re-discovery in Fintry......

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

Well I guess I'll start the story at the beginning; one evening during Spring Beer League baseball in Lumby, a friend of mine, Shawn Currie, showed me a picture on his phone of a fire truck. This picture was not unlike any old firetruck you see in many old fields across BC. This one however was different...

Just waiting to tell its story.....

This fire truck said "Lumby and Regional District Volunteer Fire Department."

However, this was a 1946 American LaFrance truck. It was old. Very old. 70+ years old.

How the heck did a 70 year old fire truck end up in a farm field in Fintry?

For those of you that know me once I get my mind on something I usually go full out until I get answers. So what does a person do who needs these answers? Well, you contact the family and show up on their front door lol!

I arrived a few days later at the Oakes Family farm and met Greta Oakes. Greta welcomed me as if I was an old friend and there it was, sitting there, almost waiting to tell it's story once again.

She explained that her father, Chris, bought it from someone in Cherryville a long time ago and it became an important part of their family with photos and memories galore surrounding the truck. I got to meet Chris and again I was reminded just how special this truck was to them. They agreed to only sell it to me if it was to go to a museum.

Lumby Door

Linda Vlasveld is an amazing woman. To say she does the work of 20 people is an understatement. She's a volunteer and also the head of the Lumby Museum. I approached her with this crazy idea...."wanna raise some money and buy a fire truck?" Immediately her response was "yes!" The problem was that we had to prove it belonged here.

Time to get walking...

With the help of the Lumby Fire Department they provided me with a list of past members who may remember the truck. The important thing is to show that the painting of the name on the doors wasn't just some person's doing. It had to actually be from Lumby.

I began going door to door speaking to past fire fighters and showed them photos of the truck. You could hear the emotion and pride in their voices and seeing the photos were like "seeing an old girlfriend." The truck was ours then, and hopefully, would be again...

Enter the Village of Lumby....

So there I found myself standing in front of the men and women who make up the government of the Village of Lumby. The response I received was overwhelming to say the least. They understood and appreciated the historic value of the truck and supported the purchase of it. In the end I really can't say looking back that I am surprised, they care about the community and the people who live here. I could never thank them enough for the work they do.

So there it was. I had the funding for the purchase. I had the place to take ownership of the truck. I even had people who had heard about the truck approach me in the streets wanting to support the project. I, however, had a MASSIVE problem.....

Lumby is 77km's away from Fintry. I need to find a tow truck......a very very big one.

Clay Harris is a former Lumby Firefighter. I was forwarded his name by a lot of people who recognize the amazing work he does in the community of Lumby. I was provided his phone number and gave him a call. Clay's passion for his community was easy to hear over the phone and he was ready to go...literally right then and there! Clay owns a tow truck. Clay owns a VERY BIG tow truck.

Scrap Pappy truck in Vernon on route to Lumby

This photo really doesn't show just how big this truck is. This tow truck has an entire fire truck on it. Just pause and think about that for a minute! A fire truck is on the back of this!

Now we just had to deliver it to Lumby...

Gary and Village of Lumby Council Members and Mayor Acton

So now the truck sits at the Lumby Museum waiting for you to help us bring it back to life.

We're looking for mechanics, body people, sponsors, painters, and history buffs to come together and help us re-tell the story of our American LaFrance.

Please help us by contributing to the crowd funding site:


Can't wait to share this story with all of you....

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