Profile of a McCaw School of Mines Docent
Meet Richard Banks, a Canadian citizen, who comes to Las Vegas in the wintertime. During his winter visits, Richard serves as a docent for the McCaw School of Mines conducting tours of the mine.
He was born in Montreal, Quebec. His dad moved around every four years, but they eventually settled in a mining town called Elliott Lake, where uranium was mined. Richard worked in the milling process before joining the United States Navy. He was in the Navy from 1964 to 1968, with two tours of Viet Nam. After his service in the military he returned to Elliott Lake and worked in the mine as a laborer. He was then offered a position as an x-ray technician and worked hard to became a Respiratory Technician. He worked in this position for 23 years, checking into chest diseases. When this program was discontinued he accepted a position in the Occupational Health and Safety Offices, which is equivalent to our OSHA.
Richard is married to Giselle. They have two children, Allen a Paramedic and Karen, a Respiratory Therapist. Richard's wife won a trip to Las Vegas in the early 1980's. That was it, the seed was planted, so when he was offered early retirement four years ago, they decided to winter in Nevada. The second year they were here, Richard noticed a flyer looking for volunteers for the McCaw School of Mines. He came to see what we are all about. He was expecting it to follow a similar program in Canada where they teach college students. What a surprise he had when he saw the age of our students. Surprise, yes and relief too!
Richard is a real asset to our volunteer program. Along about the end of November, we start looking forward to the time when Richard is back.
Reprinted with permission from the McCaw Miner.