School District 70 teacher Ryan Dvorak

Alberni District Secondary totem gets fresh look

Carver Pat Amos refurbishes totem for its move to the new high school on Roger Street.

The weathered totem that once stood outside in the courtyard at the old Alberni District Secondary School on Burde Street got a touch-up by its original carver just in time for the opening of the new high school on Roger Street.

The five-metre tall western red cedar totem was weathered from the elements and was taken down from the old school’s inner courtyard more than a year ago, Nuu-chah-nulth carver Pat Amos said.

“There was a lot of wear and tear, especially on the southwest side from the wind and rain,” Amos said. “Taking it down and bringing it inside gave it a chance to dry so I could work on it properly.”

Amos carved the pole 17 years ago, taking over from his father Tim Paul, who was originally commissioned to do the work but became bogged down in other projects.

“Hughie Sam, Edgar Lawson and the late Wilfred Robinson helped me carve the first one,” Amos said.

ADSS graduate Natasha Cook helped Amos do some of the painting, he said.

The pole depicts a Tsix-watin, or eagle on the top which represents strength and power. And a Kakawin, or killer whale rests below it, representing ruling over the sea.

“It also represents that our ancestors hunted whales,” Amos said.

A new dorsal fin had to be carved to replace the old one, which loosened from kids hanging off it. The pole also had to be lightly sanded down to provide a smooth base for a new coat of paint, Amos said.

In addition to a new fin and paint, ovoids have been placed in the teeth and copper pieces throughout the pole, Amos said.

Amos did most of the work on the pole at the new high school and finished just as the building was closed.

The pole will stand in the atrium at the Roger Street facility and a proper unveiling will be done at a grand opening later, Amos said. The school district has talked about adding other poles in the future, he added.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

BC Transit to offer free bus services in Port Alberni on Election Day

Alberni Valley residents will be able to ride the bus for free on Election Day

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists show their love of nature

“Spirits of Earth, Wind and Water” is on now until Oct. 30

EDITORIAL: Port Alberni arts deserve our support

Portal Players Dramatic Society is poised to perform a popular musical beginning this week…

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

British family deported after ‘accidental’ U.S. border crossing

U.S. officials deny it was mistake, release video of vehicle crossing into Washington from Langley

Kamloops man hangs on to back of stolen truck as suspect speeds away, crashes

The pickup truck was seen leaving the roadway before bursting into flames

Most Read