Norm Fair, a Museum supporter and volunteer who was involved in the initial restoration of the Steam Donkey, became involved as soon as he heard that the machine, originally built in 1916, needed repairs. “For me, it is about the volunteering of the community.  People rallied to help out the Museum when they needed it.  It shows once again the amazing sense of community spirit in Campbell River.” 

Norm Grant, who operates the Steam Donkey for special events put in countless hours working at getting it back into running order.  He had previously helped rebuild some valves during the restoration of the Museum’s Steam Donkey, then Norm Fair talked him into volunteering to run it starting in 2006. “He’s a great arm twister” Norm explains.  Not only does Norm give up his Labour Day and sometimes Canada Day to run the Steam Donkey, he also meets annually with the inspector from the B.C. Safety Authority to ensure the machine remains safe to operate, and does any work needed to keep it in good running order. 

Several local organizations were instrumental in meeting the tight deadlines. CR Metal Fabricators contributed donated time and materials to build a new smoke stack for the Steam Donkey, and the Campbell River Daybreak Rotary Club stepped up with a grant to cover repair costs.  Blake Leisch and welder Alfie Boudreau also contributed to the project.  The Steam Donkey required a series of non-destructive tests to prove that it was safe, and Kodiak Non-Destructive Testing Services from Nanaimo did the testing and donated their time and expertise to do it.