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The Cariboo Sentinel
As a regular traveller along the Barkerville Hwy coming into Quesnel from Cottonwood once or twice a week I recently noticed that there was some new activity happening atop the mound at the junction of Hwy 97 and Hwy 26 where the once iconic Quesnel Gold Pan City sign once stood.
In an earlier article on this issue which I had published back on July 23, 2020 titled, “Like a Thief in the Night: Quesnel Mayor Simpson Removes Controversial Gold Pan City Sign on Stormy Night”, which is no longer available on the net, I had stated, “In the midst of one of the more dramatic lightning and thunder storms to pass over the City of Quesnel this year, Mayor Bob Simpson, late in the day, on Tuesday, July 21st, 2020 sent out a city work crew that, like a thief in the night, furtively removed the controversial Quesnel Gold Pan City sign from its original location at the intersection of Hwy 97 and the Barkerville Hwy and set it up next to the train station downtown. Such audacity on the part of the city, given all the recent public discussions, petitions, heated arguments, poll results, intimidation toward city councillors opposed to the move, letters to the editor and even a public Protest Rally to boot, begs the question as to what Quesnel’s Mayor and Council were thinking when they pulled off this sly stunt.
The original site of the Quesnel Gold Pan City sign since 1987
And so the gold pan sign has been sitting for the past year along the train tracks. The city managed to finally clean it up and repaint it as shown below.
But that didn’t seem to help matters much and so in order to spend more of the taxpayer’s money the city decided to repaint the sign a second time! That project, which entailed setting up a complete scaffold and netting around the whole structure (a second time), was completed only a day or so before this article appeared.
All this expense in order to repaint the sign a second time?
Today, Wed, July 14, 2021, when I was heading up to Extra Foods to do a bit of shopping I noticed the sign had been unveiled again revealing the latest rendition to passers by. Now it’s a darker shade of grey. Maybe the paint crew working for the city figured it would blend in more with the smoke from the forest fires that have been shrouding the city for days now.
The former Gold Pan City sign as of July 14, 2021
As for what the city plans to set up on the old site at the junction of Hwy 97 and the Barkerville Hwy that still remains a mystery.
Will Mayor Bob Simpson change the name of Quesnel to Bobville in order to celebrate the legendary civic leader who has been behind all these frivolous, ego-bound, money-wasting endeavors over the past couple of years? God only knows but by the look of things it shouldn’t be too long before we witness the mayor’s next brain wave for the Gold Pan City.