Hope in Humanity Story #3: The Radisson Rock Museum

We’ve been sharing some inspirational stories we’ve recently come across.  To us, these stories show that, despite all the doom and gloom we see on the news, there are still a lot of reasons to have…

Hope in Humanity
Story #3: The Radisson Rock Museum

This is a story of hard work, perseverance, generosity, and many other traits we all cherish.  But most of all, it’s a story of the role communities play in our lives.  

You’ve probably heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to restore a child’s ransacked rock museum.   

Judah Tyreman is a young boy in Radisson, Saskatchewan. Like many kids, Judah loves collecting rocks and gems. But unlike most kids, his collection was so large that he decided to open his very own “Mineral and Gem Museum and Rock Shop.”1

For years, Judah would mow lawns, sell jewelry, and do other odd jobs to build his collection. He would scour the internet for specimens to buy, usually on eBay. During one of these searches, he found a local farmer who had his own rock collection. Judah formed a deep friendship with the farmer – so deep that when the farmer died, he left his entire collection to Judah and his sister.

That’s when Judah decided it was time to open his very own rock museum. His vast assembly of stones was so special to him, he felt he couldn’t just leave them buried in his attic or garage. No, this was something the entire world should be able to enjoy.

So, Judah got to work. He plowed all his money into the museum, and even launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise more funds. Incredibly, he never asked his parents for money.2 The entire project was due to his own savvy and determination – along with support of his community.

Soon, the word got out. People from as far away as Australia and Thailand began visiting his museum.1 Every day after school, Judah would open his shop and greet his patrons. Whenever he sold a gem, he reinvested the money right back into the museum – minus 10% that he donated to charity.2 Eventually, Judah was even able to get his hands on various meteorites and dinosaur fossils. He made enough money to put billboards up so that tourists passing through would stop and see his amazing array of stones. In fact, if you search for Judah’s museum online, you’ll see that it has a five-star rating on Google!  Quite a feat for a boy who, as of this writing, is only 13 years old.2

But then, disaster struck.

One morning, Judah arrived to open his museum when he saw much of his collection littering the sidewalk outside. He knew in an instant that someone had broken into the shop.  Inside, the scene was even worse. The museum had been ransacked, with over $6,000 worth of gems taken.3 

Now, you’re probably thinking, how does this story have anything to do with hope in humanity? Doesn’t the fact that some terrible person would do this to a kid show how far humanity has fallen?

It would – if it weren’t for what happened next.

Despite the break-in, the thirteen-year-old was far from crushed.  He cleaned up as best he could, then re-opened his museum later that same day.  He also vowed to “put [the collection] back together and make it great again.”3  But this time, he wouldn’t have to do it alone.  

Before Judah knew it, calls and emails started pouring in from members of the community.  Which community, you ask?  Take your pick:

Neighbors, friends, and former museum patrons donated money for Judah to rebuild his collection – so much that he was able to raise $7,000 in a single day!2  Meanwhile, his fellow rock collectors – many who lived thousands of miles away– heard about what happened and decided to help, too.  Each offered to donate some of their own specimens and artifacts.  

Even the local government stepped up. Less than 24 hours later, officials contacted the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and asked if there was anything they could do to help their young colleague.3 The scientists wasted no time, sending Judah a package of amber from all around the world. Then, they invited him to come and pick what he wanted from their inventory of duplicate minerals and gems. As you can imagine, the young geologist was thrilled. As he put it, “Something good came out of something bad.”2

Now, thanks to all the help he’s received, he plans to expand the museum to a second floor – as soon as he’s saved enough money to buy the building.  It may sound like a tall order, but he’s already one of the world’s youngest museum curators.  Would you bet against him?    

If there’s one thing we take from this story, it’s how important our communities are.  Communities come in many different forms.  Some are big, some are small.  Some are based on where we live.  Some are based on our dreams and interests.  Some are based simply on the fact that we are all human.  But they all have one thing in common: They are a group of people who support each other when disaster strikes.  Who look out for each other when times are hard.  A group of people who, as Judah would put it, make something good out of something bad.

We hope we all take time to cherish our own respective communities.  To think about how we can give back and support each other.  To remember, as we pursue our own goals in life, to help the Judahs of the world with theirs.  

1 “Saskatchewan kids launch Radisson rock museum,” CBC, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/judah-tyreman-launches-radisson-rock-museum-1.3651518

2 “Community support surges after theft,” Regina Leader-Post, https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/community-support-surges-after-theft-from-radisson-teens-rock-museum/wcm/631f1aef-cc2e-4a67-8492-76930fb9a373

3 “Community rallies to help 13-year-old,” CBC, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/community-rallies-to-help-13-year-old-rock-star-in-radisson-after-gem-museum-break-in-1.4576204

in: Minich MacGregor Missive, News