If this door could talk, what tales it would tell and former Chemainus sawmill manager Phil Dobson could readily recount a few memories. (Photo submitted)

Another mill artifact finds a place in Chemainus museum

Famous door salvaged from storage holds a special significance for former manager Dobson

Opportunity knocked and a valuable door that’s a big part of Chemainus history is now on display at the Chemainus Valley Museum.

The Museum recently installed the old Chemainus sawmill door in the new addition, with the help of muscle power from Chemainus firefighters.

Former MacMillan Bloedel Chemainus sawmill manager Phil Dobson, who still comes to town from West Vancouver frequently for regular monthly retiree breakfast gatherings, was pleased to see the door put on display.

The door remained at the new Western Forest Products mill office site for a while before being taken out. Former mill employee Doug Simmonds and cousin Ken Simmonds were instrumental in having the door brought out of storage.

Fortunately, the door was saved and stored so it can now be enjoyed by the public.

Eric Veistrup and Amy Brophy arranged for the firefighters to help move it into the display.

Dobson always gets a chance to reminisce with many former employees from around the region – Chemainus, Ladysmith, Duncan and Nanaimo – during the breakfasts from October through May that have been going for 18 years with usually around 24 in attendance.

“Everybody thought highly of him,” said Doug Simmonds of Dobson.

The breakfasts have been held at various locations over the years, but are currently at the Horseshoe Bay Cafe in Chemainus.

The mill’s whistle and time clock are not in this display yet as they have not been moved from the old section of the museum, according to Brophy. The museum will be closing for the holidays Dec. 17 and reopening around Feb. 1, 2019 which will provide time to move and update or redo displays in the addition and welcome visitors through the new entrance.

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