By Collections and Exhibit Coordinator Breanna Mielke, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum
One the best parts of my job is researching the artifacts in our collection. This past spring, this task took took me on an adventure to find the history of a ring.
This unique ring was dropped off by a Red Deerian that had found it in a car she bought over 10 years prior. She had spent some time looking for its owner but had no success. In March 2015, she donated the ring to the ASHFM, with the hope that we might have more luck finding its history and owner.
The ring had very distinguishing characteristics. The top of the ring was a black football shaped stone, surrounded by the writing “Provincial Champions 1999 Tier Four.” The sides of the ring were engraved as well; one side read “Mills FB” with the number 32 inside a football helmet, and the other side had a oil derrick with the word “Drillers.”
After some internet searching, I believed that this ring had belonged to a former Oilfields School student, who had played for their Drillers football 1999 Championship team. The next step was to contact the Oilfield School (in) Black Diamond, Alberta. Due to privacy laws, they could not release the names of any of their past students, however I left them with the description of the ring, and my contact information to pass it along. Knowing that was all that I could do, I put the ring aside and started the waiting game.
Not even two weeks later, I received a call from a man in Calgary by the name of Cameron Mills. He was contacting me regarding his long lost high school championship ring. He had received a Facebook message from a friend in Scotland, whose mother worked at the Oilfield School and had heard the story of the lost ring.
After checking more facts and confirming the story of the ring, I made arrangements to meet and return his ring to him, after being lost for over 10 years. We examined his scrapbook of his 1999 championship season.
Cameron was so grateful; this ring meant so much to him and he thought it was lost forever. By the end of our visit, he had given me a hug and thanked me profusely for taking the time and effort to find the true owner of the ring.
It is events such as this that makes working at preserving Alberta’s sports history so rewarding. Discovering the history and the stories behind artifacts is what brings the sports heritage to life and I am proud to be a part of this ring’s amazing journey.
Established in 1957, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta’s rich sporting history and has over 7000 artifacts for visitors to view and enjoy.