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Drunk person wanted door for 'man cave'
Stolen mining artifact quickly returned with an apology note

James Goldie
Northern News Services
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A piece of Yellowknife's mining heritage has been returned after the people who took it reconsidered plans to hang the item on the wall of their "man cave."

NNSL photo/graphic

The door of this 1940s Giant Mine fire truck was stolen late last week. By Monday morning, it had been returned with an anonymous apology note explaining that the decision to remove the door and use it as a "man cave" decoration had come after a night of drinking. - photo courtesy of Facebook

Last week the door of an old Giant Mine fire truck - on display by the NWT Mining Heritage Society - was cut off and taken from the site, only to be returned Monday morning with an accompanying apology letter.

"I offer my greatest apologies in accordance with this crime. It was a mistake made by a drunken fool after a party," the anonymous note stated. "A fellow intoxicated friend and I did think that the door would make a fantastic wallpiece in our man cave. We sincerely apologize for our actions and bring you the door back."

Members of the NWT Mining Heritage Society suspect the theft occurred Friday or Saturday night but was not discovered until Sunday. Ryan Silke, of the society's board of directors, put a notice on Facebook decrying the vandalism and stating that the incident had been reported to the RCMP.

Society spokesperson Walt Humphries said by the next day, the door was back.

"When it hit the social media and probably when they sobered up a bit, they returned it to the site," he said.

The old Giant Mine fire truck, which dates back to the 1940s, has been on display outside the log cabin at the city boat launch near the mine. Originally, before there was a road going to Giant Mine from Yellowknife, the company had its own fire truck in case of an emergency.

"This is an important and unique part of the museum displays in this area," he said, adding that the truck also attracts visitors from town and abroad.

"Old-timers, of course, they like looking at it because they can remember them but it's amazing when you take young people out there and you open the hood and show them what the engine's like," he said. "The engines (back then) were simple, there were no frills on them. And there were things you would build on and repair. You open up the hood of a truck today and what do you do?"

Humphries said society members are really pleased to have the door back because they would have replaced the door at great expense.

"We would have had to track down someone with a truck of that vintage with a door they were willing to sell," he said.

Humphries said even though some artifacts or displays may look like "old rusty pieces of equipment," volunteers put a lot of work into moving and fixing up those items.

Humphries likened the act to people seeing a statue in the park and cutting off the arm because it would look cool sticking out of their living room wall.

"Well, it can be repaired but it's never going to be same. So we're very happy to have it back," he said.

Still, he said he was appreciative the people involved came to their senses. Humphries didn't appear to hold any grudges.

"Everybody can make a mistake," he said.

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