From the Archives

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may june 2016

Written by Kevin MacLean, Galt Museum & Archives

Do you know what this item is an what it was used for?

Is it a:

a. geocaching tube

b. match canister

c. darning needle holder

Do you know what this item is and what it was used for?

If you guessed match canister you’re correct!

It’s a “Match Safe” container (1958 – 1963)

This “Match Safe” was carried by former City resident Don Chapman. The waterproof container was worn on his belt when he served as a member of the McKillop United Church’s “14th Lethbridge (Boy) Scout Troop”.  

The Chapman family resided in Lethbridge from 1958 to 1963. While here, Don was active in scouting.  In 1963, he was one of only two Boy Scouts in Lethbridge to be chosen to travel to New Mexico on an adventure trip.  He also qualified to receive a “Queen’s Scout” award prior to the family leaving Lethbridge.

In 2014, Museum staff interviewed Don about his local scouting experience.  Said Don: “I was born in 1947 and we came [to Lethbridge] because my father got a job here. We had no idea where Lethbridge was… it was kind of like, finally the family is getting a financial footing and there was a career path ahead.  The move to Lethbridge was a new start – certainly for me.  [My time in] Lethbridge was formative years, scouting was a significant undertaking in my life [and] I was quite committed to it.  It was a way to learn fundamental life skills and membership.  You would learn what it’s like to be in a group [and] what it’s like to be on a team.  We would go out for at least a week (every year) into the eastern slopes of the Rockies. You had to learn how to cook, you had to learn survival skills, you had to learn how to tie knots [and you sang] around the campfire at meetings…it was kind of a fraternal organization for young people.”

Don’s match safe and the belt are part of a larger, twenty-piece Boy Scouts’ collection donated to the Galt.  The collection in its entirety can be viewed online at galtmuseum.com.

Donated by Don Chapman

P20140034012

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