JOGGINS, N.S. – The Joggins Fossil Centre was not a jewel sitting atop the Joggins Fossil Cliffs 300 million years ago, and it likely won’t be in 300 million years, but it will definitely be there 10 years from now.
“These cliffs took 300 million years to form, and 10 years is just a drop in the bucket moving forward as a world heritage site,” said Dr. John Calder, senior geologist with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. “This is the start of something. We shouldn’t think everything’s been achieved, everything’s been done, there’s no way to move forward, or to go beyond what we have done.”
The Joggins Fossil Centre opened in April of 2008, and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs was inscribed on the World Heritage List on July 10, 2008.
Calder was the guest speaker during the 10th anniversary of the naming of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“I would encourage you to think of goals for the next 10 years, maybe doubling the number of people that come here from around the world,” added Calder. “Think of innovative ways to bring people here, to engage in education, and to make the local people feel even more that this is their place to be stewards of.”
Calder was one of the key figures in helping bring the UNESCO designation to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs.
“We all have memories and personal stories that make this place special to all of us. It’s a big achievement to become a world heritage site, and it was the culmination of many people’s dreams for it to become a world heritage site,” he said.
Calder also spoke about Don Reid’s contribution to the cliffs.
“I want to thank the people who have passed on, notably our dear friend Don Reid, who is ‘The Keeper of the Cliffs’ and always will be, and his family, and the thousands of people that Don touched, making Joggins a special place forever in their hearts,” said Calder. “I want him to be an example for all of us, and to have that same childlike joy as we move together into the future.”
Donald Reid, known as The Keeper of the Cliffs, was born in Joggins in 1922, and passed away in November 2016. A lifelong fossil collector at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, his vast collection of fossils is housed at the Joggins Fossil Centre.
Reid was also a member of the board that helped make the Joggins Fossil Cliffs a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He received the Order of Nova Scotia in October 2016, a month before his passing.