The Honouring Figure

John Aitken

This figure is based on a Traditional Welcome Figure carved by Coast Salish People. Traditionally there were two such figures in Village Sites, one male, one female. Open arms to welcome other tribe members.

This figure was carved/sculpted to Honour Emma and Felix Jack and all other Coast Salish People that visited or lived on Mayne Island. Mayne Island is part of the traditional territory of the Coast Salish Peoples.

Mayne Island, one of the Gulf Islands, was home for thousands of years to people of the Salish Sea. Later, miners en route to Caribou gold filled their packs (and the local “gaol”!) and Japanese tomato farmers filled the plates of many BC diners. Now Mayne Island is home to those who treasure wild natural beauty, close friendships, and freedom to live unique and interesting lives.

To honour the island’s first inhabitants and the diversity of all who live and visit here, an Honouring Figure will take its place in Emma and Felix Jack Park. John Aitken, a grandson of Emma and Felix Jack and a well-known artist, has carved the 20-foot figure, from a Mayne Island red cedar, over the last two years. The Mayne Island Garden Club has been the energy behind the organizing and fund-raising to make this Figure a reality.

We invite everyone to the installation of this spectacular sculpture, on Sunday, June 28, 2009, at 1:00 pm at the Park (just minutes from the ferry terminal and from the commercial centre at Miner’s Bay.) There will be a celebration featuring the Mayne Island drummers, and refreshments of berry shortcake and lemonade. Please come and share in this historic event!

Getting Ready

Members of the Mayne Island Garden club at a work party to get the park ready for the unveiling of the Honouring Figure.

If you wish to make a donation to this project please contact Ingrid Marsh at 250-539-5024. Anyone donating $250 or more will have their name on the plaque to be mounted beside the figure.

Photos from the Unveiling June 28, 2009

Thanks to Brian Haller and Lorie Brown for the photos.