Private subterranean facility houses antique industrial machinery
THIRTEEN BOILERMAKERS GOT a rare treat September 26, when they traveled west of Calgary, Alberta, for a personal tour of the Canadian Museum of Making, a private collection of industrial machinery and tools, some of which are centuries old.
The group joined engineer, inventor and entrepreneur Ian MacGregor, as he led them through a vast underground chamber below his home containing some 20,000 artifacts.
MacGregor’s fascination with tools and technology stretches back to his childhood. However, he does not just collect things — he builds them, too, and on a massive scale. He is the driving force behind North West Upgrading’s Sturgeon Refinery, an $8 billion facility under construction near Edmonton, Alberta, that will process heavy crude from the Canadian oil sands. But Sturgeon is not just any refinery; it incorporates carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) in its very design. In doing so, it increases the likelihood that fossil fuels can continue to be used long into the future.
Hundreds of Boilermakers are currently at work on the refinery, which is in the first phase of a multi-year project that could ultimately cost $26 billion and provide many thousands of man-hours for construction trades.
MacGregor, who spoke at the Boilermakers’ 33rd Consolidated Convention in July, has shown that he shares a love of tools, machines, technology and problem solving with Boilermakers. To honor his contribution to industry and his friendship with our union, the IBB contingent presented him with an honorary membership in Boilermakers Local 146 (Edmonton) and an operating replica of Greek inventor Hero’s steam engine, hand-crafted by Charles Jones, Director of the Boilermaker History Preservation Department.
Participating in the tour were Joe Maloney, IVP-Canada; Warren Fairley, IVP-SE; Jones; Cory Channon, AIP; Richard MacIntosh, IR; Kent Oliver, IR; Arnie Stadnick, IR; Grant Jacobs, NTTF-Canada; and from Local 146, Dean Milton, BM-ST; Robert Key, Asst. BM; Blair Savoie, Bus. Rep.; Terry Defreitas, Bus. Rep.; and Ed Sharpe, Trustee.