THE CEILING hung above the coffee room in Hut B8 at the University of
British Columbia. “The hut” contained the offices of graduate students, faculty, and staff within various Biology
departments. The Fisheries Centre, the Institute of Fisheries, the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology, the Zoology
Computing Unit, and the Biodiversity Research Centre were all present at some point in time. The coffee room and
adjoining beer room were social spaces; a gathering place on Friday afternoons. On momentous occasions: the successful
completion of a post-graduate degree or the end of a research fellowship, the tradition would be that the guest of honor
would buy everyone’s beers. The honoree would also gain the privilege of signing the ceiling. Some put their name and year,
others included quotes or drawings of research organisms. A palimpsest of achievements accumulated in a tradition which
spanned over thirty years.
South wall of the coffee room.
The beer room.
In late 2006, Hut B8 was demolished. A new building, the Beaty Biodiversity Centre, was built on the
site. The building houses the Biodiversity Research Centre and contains research spaces, laboratories, an auditorium, the and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. The ceiling may rise again in some form,
but for now it exists here and in the memories of all that have come before.