Archivist Michael Dawe gets ‘new’ job after 40 years

Changing jobs after 40 years with the Red Deer City Archives is getting a mixed reaction from the man who helped create his own position.

Changing jobs after 40 years with the Red Deer City Archives is getting a mixed reaction from the man who helped create his own position.

But then, in the Bible, 40 is where you stop counting, says Michael Dawe, 53, who will become the new Curator of History for the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery after 40 years with the archives.

Dawe said on Wednesday that he’s finding it tough to leave a job whose foundations were laid in 1970 when, at the age of 14, he joined the city’s archives committee as its first junior associate member.

In September of 1979, Dawe became Red Deer’s first full-time archivist — a position which has earned him the undisputed reputation as the premier authority on the history of Red Deer and the surrounding area.

“It’s kind of mixed feelings. I always enjoyed helping answer people’s questions. But it’s a change,” said Dawe.

“I look forward to working with Lorna, I regret leaving the archives after this many years, so we’ll see.”

Lorna Johnson, executive director of the museum and art gallery, said she actively pursued Dawe because he is by far the best qualified person anywhere to take the new post. He will play a key role in the drive toward 2013, when Red Deer celebrates its 100th anniversary as a city.

The museum had at first asked Dawe to write a book about Red Deer’s 100 years as a city. That led to the decision to bring him over to the museum, said Johnson.

“We are also interested in doing more of a blend between what’s in the museum and what’s in the archives, so we needed someone who could tell those stories, and Michael is our best story teller in the community.”

Placing Dawe as Curator of History reflects the museum’s interest in placing more emphasis on the historical aspects of its exhibits, said Johnson.

“The bulk of our changing exhibition programming was art based, and our history exhibits really had not changed very much in a very long time. And yet, there are a lot of stories to be told,” she said.

Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling, former director of the museum, said Dawe will be working with a committee of people looking at ways of celebrating 2013.

“Naturally, we’re going to be drawing heavily on historical pieces, and there isn’t anybody in town who has a better grasp of a history and heritage and understanding of all of that, and all of the possibilities, than Michael,” said Flewwelling.

He said the museum’s new direction is “absolutely” the way to go.

“All of the very best celebrations that I have ever seen have always been rooted in cultural heritage, in the past,” he said.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Central Alberta councils learn more about Bighorn Country proposal

A collection of central Alberta politicians are learning more about the province’s… Continue reading

High-speed chase led to fatal collision, jury hears

A Delburne man accused of manslaughter caused a fatal rollover collision during… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Online ads spoil Christmas surprises, raising privacy concerns: experts

Lisa Clyburn knew she had found the perfect gift for her nine-year-old… Continue reading

Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Adriana Leon up for top CONCACAF awards

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio are up for CONCACAF male… Continue reading

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

TORONTO — Canada Soccer has named striker Jordyn Huitema and defender Derek… Continue reading

Review: Too much Spider-Man? Not in the Spider-Verse

You might be forgiven for feeling superhero overload this holiday season. Had… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’s’ Sarah Hyland had second kidney transplant

LOS ANGELES — “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland says she had a… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Most Read