top of page

3 ROM guards to the rescue

Among all the people working at the museum, I soon came to realize the importance of the security guards. Most of them spent their time patrolling the public galleries, their primary function being to protect all the objects, many of which were not protected behind glass. Their other significant role was helping visitors find their way around the largest museum in the country.

I came to know some of the guards quite well during my thirty two years at the ROM. Stopping to chat with them during my occasional wanderings around the galleries, I picked up valuable snippets of information on what was happening on the visitors’ side of the fence.

When the museum was closed, a guard would patrol the public areas, making sure all was safe and secure. Carrying on throughout the night, they would continue with their rounds until the morning crew took over.

Museums can feel strange at night. I discovered this during the frantic final weeks to complete the gallery, when I frequently slept over. One night, after another long day in the gallery, I made myself comfortable on a public bench and fell asleep.

Was I dreaming or was something touching my leg? Awake in an instant I slammed down my hand as hard as I could. Flicking on my flashlight I sat up. Then, slipping down my jeans, I discovered a very dead mouse.

Long after the gallery was opened one of the guards reported some disturbing news to me: he caught a man trying to steal part of one of the dinosaurs. Standing in front of the skeleton, with his young son on his shoulders, he was directing him to reach up and break off a bone. Had it not been for the guard, irrevocable damage would have been done to the specimen.

On another occasion, a guard called on me to say there was a small boy in the gallery, crying his eyes out because all the dinosaurs were dead. I immediately rushed off to find him. I was going to console him with the news that dinosaurs were not really gone because they lived on as birds, which are their descendants. Unfortunately, I never found the little fellow.


bottom of page