The Story Behind the Pink Pumpjack
Anyone recently driving by Bezanson on Highway 43 has without a doubt seen the bright pink pumpjack on the north side of the highway that proudly supports breast cancer awareness. This pumpjack was installed by Canadian Natural in late April 2018 and was painted a month later in May. Just from driving by, the jack reminds people about friends, family, and other loved ones who have battled or are battling breast cancer. And the story behind the painting of the pumpjack is one that resonates deeply for so many people, not just in the Bezanson community but in the the people just driving by as well.
“The idea [to paint the pumpjack] originated with Canadian Natural employee Rick Holman, who works as a Foreman for field operations in the Grande Prairie region. His wife is battling breast cancer and Rick thought painting it pink would be a wonderful way to support his wife, Donlea, while also being an effective and unique method of creating breast cancer awareness.
Rick contacted a local vendor (IPAC Services Corp.), mentioning that he was considering the option of painting it pink and the reasons behind it. A week later, when calling to further discuss the job quote, IPAC gave Rick some unexpected and greatly appreciated news ― they had generously taken it upon themselves to make arrangements to donate their time to clean, prepare scaffolding and paint the pumpjack pink. Other local vendors were also eager to support breast cancer awareness and donated the paint, steam cleaning services, a new chemical tank and landscaping services.”
– Kevin Gill; CNRL Communications Associate
The oil field is the backbone of the Peace Country’s economy and this positive show of support from the local businesses brings together the area. This pumpjack started as a simple way for a husband to support his wife by raising awareness for breast cancer, and has grown into a large-scale reminder, inspiration, and motivation for community members.
The pumpjack is located by Colleen and Gord Ford’s property. In an interview Colleen said, “They haven’t just painted a pumpjack. It started as one individual but now so many people have been touched by it. They haven’t just done something, they’ve done it with excellence. It warms my heart to see people stop to look at it.”
Colleen even said that a small tour bus stopped to look and take photos of the pump jack. She is so impressed by the level of dedication CNRL has put into the site. They cleaned the fence line, mowed the ditches, and even planted flowers. The gravel road leading up to the site has been in disrepair for a while now and Colleen wishes that the County of Grande Prairie would fix the road now that there is an increase of traffic. If you do pull onto Range Road 32 north, be aware that the pump jack is on a dead-end road that currently, due to all the rain, is in terrible condition. The public needs to be cautious if they are stopping on the highway to admire the pumpjack. It is a high traffic, high speed highway and the pumpjack just happens to be on the curve, so please be careful if you pull over to take a photo.
“Rick and Canadian Natural are extremely grateful to the local businesses who donated their time, materials and services. It demonstrated a tremendous level of generosity and community spirit and we can’t thank all those involved enough for their support of such a valuable cause that touches so many lives. As a small token of our appreciation, Rick has posted a sign near the well thanking all the businesses involved.”
The Bezanson community would like to thank Canadian Natural, Rick Holman, and the businesses that contributed to this project that touches each and every person in the Bezanson community.
Written by Haley Friesen