Some of the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum’s Volunteers Over the Past Two and a Half Decades.

The following is a tentative (and still under-development) list of persons who have made (in my view) outstanding contributions to the initial creation and continuing existence & development of the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum during the past two plus decades

For more about how volunteers were the salvation of the Diefenbunker site in Carp, Ont6. (DND was going to seal it with a concrete plug, as they did with the Richardson TX site in 1997 – despite apparently being instructed by PCO NOT to do so!) and the foundation of the institution intended by the Founders to become Canada’s Cold War Museum go to Connie Higginson-Murray’s very complete History of the Origins of the Diefenbunker.

Doug Beaton Giving one of his Comprehensive Tours
  1. Dixie Trenholm …… A founding member of the Diefenbunker Development Group (DDG). Lives in the Carp area.
  2. Lox Trenholm…original founding member
  3. Dr. Barry Bruce …… Principal (Chair) founding member of the DDG, The driving force behind the acquisition of the Bunker from West Carleton Township and the idea to turn the facility into a proper museum, Board Chairman and CEO of the Museum 1998 – 2002 and President of the Museum Board of Directors 2002 to 2010 for many years.
  4. Larry Claus ….. Member of the DDG, Retired teacher from Richmond High School who for the initial year of our operation as a developing museum was the first ‘full time’ manager / executive director 1997/98.
  5. Connie Higginson…….Member of the DDG and founding member of the museum, for many years chair of the Programs and Exhibitions Committee which researched, designed and constructed exhibits and displays, designed and operated tours, acquired and conserved artifacts and archive material. Has conducted and partnered in extensive research into Project EASE. Lives in the Carp area.
  6. Robert Moreau – Heritage Specialist and Manager with Parks Canada. Active during early days as researcher and advocate with Parks Canada. Highly involved in the creation of the (now defunct) Requiem and other first exhibits. Was a heritage advisor to the museum founders, including during the acquisition of the Museum’s site.
  7. John Grenville….. Parks Canada employee. Major input and assistance to the museum during its application for a heritage designation for the museum, personally expedited rescuing many F and E items from the Debert, Nova Scotia REGHQ/Bridge site
  8. Doug McNab- very active in tours, Programs and Exhibitions Committee and in acquiring furniture and ‘dressing’ the displays of reconstructed areas). Passed away about 10 years ago?
  9. Peter (and Sandra) Remillard – Actually worked at CFS Carp/CEGHQ as Chief of facility maintenance during most of its operational years (1962 to 1994) and was a very helpful volunteer with the operation, repair and maintenance of the building especially during the initial years of the existence of the museum. (Very happy he knew how to fix the blast doors when they jammed!)
  10. Kathy (or Elva?) Hollingsworth – Early public relations developer, very proactive in out early years. Used to live in Carp area.
  11. Doug Beaton – Retired Conservator from Parks Canada, Long time (from 1998) volunteer with the bunker, developed, and physically personally built (and continues to build) the library, Long time member of the Board in its various configurations over the years, was Board president for some years, continues to be an active volunteer (and continues to give tours and manage the cataloguing of artifacts and archives), is/should be the go-to person for conservation matters. Doug has served as Collection Manager since 2000 and has overseen the cataloging of thousands of books and archival items in the museum’s collection (many of which he has acquired at his own expense. He founded and has since managed the bunker’s extensive Cold War Library. has been a member of a number of the museum’s committees and has served as both a member and President of the Board (2004-2007). He has also given over 2500 tours of the museum since 1998.
  12. Louise Fox….long time volunteer , Has extensive background in heritage matters and has given heritage input and advice since early days of bunker as a museum, still volunteering sorting out neglected admin files. Former Parks Canada Conservator and Heritage Policy Analyst. As a member of a number of the museum’s committees she helped draft policies and documents, undertook conservation treatments and participated in the creation of several exhibits.
  13. Jim Morrison – was the CBC tech who originally oversaw the installation of the CBC studio/control room in 1961? When DND was about to seal the building -having been told NOT to do so by PCO – the War Museum rescued it and took it to Vimy House for storage. When they returned to the bunker museum, Jim 35 years after his first installation, re-installed it again. He did say that was the last time he was going to do this!
  14. Bob Borden…. one of the few persons who was actually assigned a position at the bunker should it have been activation (part of the Dept of Industry, Trade and Commerce office), long time volunteer at the bunker, was manager of the museum for quite a few years, visited the Debert former REGHQ with Dave Peters in 2011.
  15. Brian Jeffery ……Long time general ‘do anything’ volunteer, Major participant in the Radio Club, Temporary Executive Director during a major HR crisis some years ago, continues as Radio Club member.
  16. Don Roper – RCSigs occupant of the bunker when it was operational and help in setting the building up as a museum.
  17. Allan Aizerman (general building maintenance volunteer and exhibit / area recreations constructionn
  18. Murray Fyfe…… Long time volunteer working with Doug Beaton cataloguing archival material, actually worked at CFS Carp during its operational years (was in the Federal Warning Centre during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  19. Bill McKay…..Retired Army Col, Long time Board member and Board President until about mid 2010s? Shepherded bunker through some very difficult financial and HR crises. Lives in the Carp area.
  20. Mike Braham….Retired Naval Officer and EPC Director,Very active tour guide, museum spokesperson and founder of the Museum Alumni Association.
  21. Les Ott – Retired Army Engineer and very active tour guide and general volunteer
  22. Gordon Heath – Long time, very active OSAX exhibit creator and general/lighting maintenance support volunteer
  23. Brad Heath – was a long time maintenance volunteer before becoming the Facilities Maintenance coordinator for a few years.
  24. Wilfred ???- Did extensive creation of models for various exhibits in the early 2000s, the Avro Arrow destruction diorama, the Canadian interceptor aircraft in the Col War decades exhibition, the operating model of the escape hatches, etc.
  25. Captain Francois Vigneault- early exhibit designer and constructor, contact at the CFB Borden REGHQ when we were trying to acquire items from that bunker (including successfully, the Mirlee generator)
  26. The Madore brothers, (Mike and Eric) and cousin Lee Laflamme- worked on overhaul of ventilation fans, many IT issues, transportation providers.
  27. Lorne Beaton…..Long time tour guide volunteer
  28. Dean McEwen….Early years very active, hands-on exhibits and displays construction and general maintenance and repairs volunteer.
  29. Gail Baird –active board member and contributor to the development of the bunker
  30. Bill Birrull – volunteer in early years as a museum
  31. Jon Higginson – worked on maintenance issues during early years
  32. John Horowitz- one of the original bunker volunteers and Board member
  33. Amber Peters – produced many FWC ops diagrams and wall mountings, currently not being displayed, produced the FWC Iconorama forward display screen simulation that has fallen into disrepair / disuse, video-graphed the officials briefing re-enactment.
  34. Brian Earle – built the three emergency hospitals transport models for the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile exhibit constructed by Algonquin Museum Studies students circa 2007.
  35. Debbie Locksley – original Diefenbunker Development Group
  36. Wendy McKay – library, part of original preservation group
  37. Glenn Montgomery -family owned the farm where the bunker was sited
  38. Wendy O’Keefe – designed and produced the Diefenbunker’s first logo which was our brand for about 20 years – it represents the entrance to the blast tunnel – with an opening – light -at the end of the tunnel!
  39. Allan Aizerman (volunteer for misc. building repairs) Gail Pike  (later Gail Baird, founder and Board member for many years)
  40. Robin Sully – lawyer member of the Board of Directors who was very instrumental in creating the right legal environment for the early operation of the bunker
  41. Beth Sweetnam – one of the original founders
  42. Anne Musca- volunteered to be bookkeeper during early years (and helped with many events0, eventually hired full time.
  43. Gail Pike (later Gail Baird) founder and Board member for many years
  44. Horst Stiebert – early data base in archives work, constructing exhibit cases, mounting exhibits
  45. Leo Enright – early volunteer
  46. Mike and Krista Prochazka (participated in the design of the Requiem Exhibit and the Presentations Committee.
  47. Marg Duteau – early IT and data bases
  48. ?????????High school student from Stittsville – worked on IT support during mid 2000s and helped in general facility and exhibit maintenance
  49. John Clearwater– exhibit acquisition, donated many models used in exhibits, author, nuclear weapons in Canada expert, principle curator for the Diefenbunker’s LOST NUC exhibit.
  50. Matt ????? – a (then) high school student, worked with Kyle in helping to build the 400 level fallout shelter exhibits
  51. Kyle Prittie – a (then) high school student, worked with Matt in helping to build the 400 level fallout shelter exhibits
  52. Peter Sharp – maintenance volunteer
  53. Richard Kirby – maintenance volunteer
  54. Hunter Bagby – maintenance volunteer
  55. Hugh Pett – in early years of museum was instrumental in developing the bunkers’ IT capabilities and in providing support of creating a number of exhibits.
  56. Nick Shepard – HF “HAM” Radio Club VE3CWM founding member and advocate.

Many thanks to the following for their work in recreating the 701 PBX telephone switchboard:

Working the CFS Carp Switchboard circa mid-1980s

Graham Patterson – Project Leader

Larry Tighe – Switch Donation

Bill Gooderham and Don Roper – Wiring

Adrian Crone and Ken Conway – Assembly

Hugh Pett – Original Idea and Financial & General Assistance

The following update to this page with information about the Original Founders Groups and Volunteer Members was compiled by Connie Higginson-Murray

The following information is derived mostly from my personal archives

On January 8, 1997, the Diefenbunker Development Group (DDG) met for the first time.

* Membership comprised: Barry Bruce (Chair), Dixie Trenholm, Bob Borden, John Horwitz, Kathy Hollinsworth, Jonathan Higginson-Lajoie, Bill Birrell, Locksley Trenholm, Larry Claus and Beth Sweetnam. Robin Sully joined in February,1997, followed by Connie Higginson-Murray in April 1997, and in May 1997 by Peter Remillard and Dave Peters. 

* Jonathan Higginson-Lajoie and Locksley Trenholm left the DDG before incorporation but remained volunteering as tour guides.

In May 1997 the DDG made appointments to the following positions: John Horwitz and Bob Borden, Business Development; Connie Higginson-Murray, Programmes and Exhibitions; Doug McNab, Volunteer Coordinator; and Peter Remillard, Building Maintenance. In September 1998 Host Stiebert was appointed Diefenbunker Registrar by the museum’s board.

The Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum was incorporated in February 1998. Subsequently the DDG ceased operation and replaced by a formal museum board.

* First officers of the board were: Barry Bruce, President; John Horwitz, Vice President; Bob Borden, Treasurer; and Robin Sully, Secretary.

(Board membership is recorded in the board’s first Minutes. I think the first board meeting was May 27, 1998 but that needs to be verified.)

Soon after incorporation Eddie Crack, Steven Sliwa, Horst Siebert and Bob Pereira joined as volunteers to manage / or support museum operations. Some of the former DDG members also populated the first board. 

On August 12, 1998 Larry Claus was appointed by the museum board as Executive Director, Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum. 

Additional volunteers / supporters: Robert Moreau, Doug Beaton, Louise Fox, Mike Prochazka, Pam Meunier, Dean McEwan, John Grenville, Dan Glenney, Francois Vigneault, Fair Rapsey, Marjorie Clayson, Sandy Remillard, Elva Hollinsworth, Jim Morrison, Andy Renault, Len Spenst, John Clearwater, Jeremy Bruce, Nairne Cameron, Mike Bruce, Judy Claus, Carol Bruce, Leo Enright, Don Roper, Colin Griffiths, Beatrice Romeskie, Len Johnson, Bernie Gorman, John Cook, Gerry McKim, Keith Roe, Rod Won, James Jamison, Phil Sweetnam, Jean McCarthy, Matt Kletke, Wendy O’Keefe, (Ann Musca—I don’t know if she ever volunteered or if she was always an employee), and Karen Macdonald.

This list includes some but not all of the volunteer guides.