Final resting place

Cariboo historic safe finds new home at Quesnel and District Museum and Archives

Larry Giesbrecht

Through the gracious generosity of the North Cariboo Growers’ Co-op, the CD Hoy safe has found its final resting place with the Quesnel Museum and Archives.

Come in to see the 7000-plus pounds of solid steel that constitutes this monolith – it is truly a beautiful piece of art.

With painted roses on its drawers and curlicued locks inside, you will marvel at the workmanship that went in to its construction.

A true artifact in Cariboo history, the CD Hoy safe brings with it a multitude of memories and historical facts.  The story of the CD Hoy family is written up in the Tribute to the Past, Quesnel and Area 1808-1928 starting on page 144 – truly a story of endurance and personal stamina on the part of CD Hoy.

The CD Hoy safe was the victim of professional safecrackers in October 1937.  To quote the Cariboo Observer’s October 5, 1937 article, The thieves were apparently experts at their business.  They prepared the safe by knocking off the dial and running grooves of soft soap around the door into which they ran their nitro-glycerine.  Horse blankets and Hudson Bay blankets were then piled over the safe and the whole weighted down with sacks of flour.  When the explosive was discharged the outer door was blown off and the inner one so badly bent that the thieves were able to remove the contents easily.  To learn more about this event, read it all by going to  www.quesnelmuseum.ca look on the right hand side for Observer Newspaper Archives. You’ll see that Felix Hunger and John ‘Shorty’ Nolan were eventually apprehended for the crime – more info on this on that same site.

I was told a parallel story about this safe by a well-known Quesnel fellow. This happened  just after the safe had been blown up by professional safecrackers in 1937.  This young chap and his buddies (who shall remain anonymous) used to dig holes over by the old hospital.  I use the term ‘holes’ loosely because they were about five feet deep and five feet wide, covered in branches and dirt. One night, one of the boys got hold of some explosives and threw them in the hole. Having no idea how powerful the explosives were, they were very surprised when it was an event of some magnitude!  They ran for home as the police cars came roaring down the street, thinking the CD Hoy safe was being blown up again.

I understand he never told that story to any one until I mentioned the safe to him. Do you suppose there is still anyone around that remembers that explosion?

We are still trying to ascertain if this safe is the original CD Hoy safe or if it was replaced with a new one after the robbery.  CD Hoy’s daughter, Lily, is attempting to get the exact details…to follow later.

Make certain you visit the Museum and admire this beautiful piece of history.

Hope to see you as you “pass time” at the Museum.

The Museum Commission and the City of Quesnel would like to take this opportunity to thank North Cariboo Growers Co-op for their generous donation and a huge thank you to Mike and Larry for delivering it!

Next time you are at the new Co-op, take the time to stop and thank them for contributing to the preservation of  Quesnel’s history.

In a future column I’d like to regale you with details from the Minute Book of the North Cariboo Growers’ Co-op. A lot of names you’ll recognize and details of former events of yesteryear in Quesnel.

Horse Sense

A horse can’t pull while kicking.

This fact I’ll merely mention.

And he can’t kick while pulling.

Which is my chief contention.

***

Let’s imitate the good old horse

And lead a life that’s fitting;

Just pull an honest load, and then

There’ll be no time for kicking.

Honey Affleck is chair of the museum commission and regular Observer contributor.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: cedar swag workshop a hit at Wells Winter Kick Off

Wells locals and visitors created some festive decor at the weekend event

City of Quesnel hosts public hearing on potential recreational cannabis store

The meeting takes place tonight in City Council chambers

Quesnel could see more snow Friday

Warmer weather will remain until end of the week, according to Environment Canada

TNG receives rural dividend funding

The Tsilhqot’in National Government will be able to achieve certification through the lSO

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Most Read