September 08, 2012 03:46
A new totem pole was raised at Government House Saturday morning to replace a pole carved by Chief Mungo Martin in 1959.
Martin's grandson Chief Tony Hunt carved the replacement pole. Lieutenant Governor Steven Point was pleased with the result.
"I dug the hole behind the whale's tail ... that was my contribution. I love the symbolism and the beautiful location with the trees behind it. And I love the fact that all these people are here helping to stand it up. British Columbia stood up this pole."
The original pole was commissioned in 1959 to commemorate the relationship between the Canadian and British navies. It was displayed in Portsmouth, England until it was badly damaged in the late 1980's and returned to Canada.
Point says it was beyond repair.
"The old one was too decayed to restore ... and it's such a huge part of our BC history - a Mungo Martin pole, and so I thought it was just too good to let go and that's why we made another one."
Point says it took about 3 or 4 months to carve the replacement totem pole.
-Liz McArthur with files from CTV Vancouver Island