Museum manager’s job a great fit

Chris Gale, former manager of the Duncan Save-On Foods, is ready to climb on board the  B.C. Forest Discovery Centre train as its new manager. - Ashley Degraaf
Chris Gale, former manager of the Duncan Save-On Foods, is ready to climb on board the B.C. Forest Discovery Centre train as its new manager.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

A long love for trains, plus a strong familiarity with the community.

Landing the manager’s position at the B.C. Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan couldn’t have been a better fit for Chris Gale.

Heck, it’s where he and his wife tied the knot in 2010.

Gale is best known in Cowichan as the former manager of Save-On-Foods (where Shoppers Drug Mart is now) before it shut down in 2008.

News Leader Pictorial readers might also remember when Gale and wife Kathleen finally ended their 30-year-long engagement and got hitched at the FDC in April 2010.

Gale has also been actively involved in a number of local groups, including Cowichan United Way.

After he moved on from Save-On, Gale held a gig, among many other pursuits, at the Langford Canadian Tire in customer service and was known there as the ‘Popcorn Guy,’ for his work selling the salty snacks.

He’s still involved as co-ordinator of the Canadian Cancer Society’s daffodil campaign which is in full swing at the moment.

“I really missed this community,” Gale said of before he stumbled on the FDC head honcho position advertised in the paper.

“It was a gift from heaven really,” he said. “It’s a plum job that’s for sure. A lot of people are asking was I bored? Not for one second. I just really simply missed being around people.”

As the new manager of the FDC, he’s already set his sights on a few goals.

His top priority is working on more corporate sponsorships to continue the centre’s educational components.

“It’s an education museum first and foremost,” he said, noting popular events at the FDC he’d love to see continue for years include Yukon Dan’s Gold Panning in the Classroom session, Bigleaf Maple Syrup Festival, and all the activities that come along with the holidays.

He applauds the fact the centre saw some 40,000 pop by last year, but said he’d like to see that number climb. He’s quite enthused about its strong volunteer base, which last year also saw 7,000 hours donated by Cowichanians.

He’d also like to make more people in the community, including business owners, aware of event bookings available, including for things like company picnics and weddings.

“It’s a great place to get married,” he said with a chuckle.

“It runs so well already, and I’m not here to change anything,” Gale said of the popular destination for locals and tourists alike. “It’s just building from here on.”

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