The world’s tallest gnome is apparently 16 inches too tall for new Island home

Galey Farms in Saanich forced to store Howard the Gnome

If the back-and-forth saga of a Vancouver Island tourist attraction were a movie, it would be called Howard and the Sixteen Angry Inches.

Howard — the moniker of the world’s largest gnome — is apparently 16 inches too tall for Saanich’s liking, but his new owner has no plans to cut him down to size.

“He is the Guinness Book of World Records, and I don’t plan of de-crowning him of his title,” said Rob Galey of Galey Farms. “Sixteen inches is nothing.”

RELATED: Howard the giant gnome finds new home on Vancouver Island

He made these comments, while talking with local reporters in Nanoose Bay, after crews had dismantled the gnome for transport.

Howard, for the record, is eight metres tall or nearly 315 inches.

He proudly stood at the Chevron gas station along the Island Highway near Nanoose Bay for more than two decades, starting in 1998. But representatives of the gas station recently told the grand-daughter of Howard’s creator, Ron Hale, that they no longer wanted the statue on their property “due to legal reasons.”

This prompted a bidding war for the unique structure, with Saanich’s Galey Farms eventually emerging as Howard’s new home.

RELATED: Howard, Vancouver Island’s giant gnome, is on the move

Galey’s remarks do not make it clear why Saanich objects to Howard’s height. “There are some issues,” he said. “I don’t really want to get into it at this time. I’m going back to Saanich and we are going to have to find a solution.”

Galey, however, insists that lowering Howard’s height is not an option.

Howard is due to arrive in the Greater Victoria area later today. It is unclear though where he will lay down his head. “I’m not even saying which warehouses is going to,” said Galey. “He is going to different places. Different people will be working on him and he will not be viewable to the public at all.”

Hopefully, some resolution will emerge, he said.

At issue is the status of Galey’s land inside the Agricultural Land Reserve, said Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich.

“The [Agricultural Land Commission] has confirmed that although [agri-tourism] is considered a farm use which would not require an application to the ALC, the construction or erection of permanent facilities is not permitted,” she said. “As such, the Galeys would need to apply to the ALC for a non-farm use.”

Catalano said staff met with Galey as soon they heard about his decision to acquire the gnome. “Saanich staff have not received any confirmation from the Galeys about height since the meeting held in early April,” she said. “To date, no variance application [for the bylaw regulating height] has been received.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

‘Howard’ the giant gnome comes apart May 9 for his move from Nanoose Bay to Galey Farms in Saanich. But it is not clear yet when he will be erected again. (Karly Blats/ Black Press News Media)

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

Port Alberni’s ‘Army of Problem Solvers’ to the rescue

Facebook group gathers people who just want to help their neighbours

Hurricane Katrina inspires Alberni author’s new novel

Jacqueline Swann brings message of climate change to life with story of fictional journalist

Port Alberni RCMP searching for missing teenage girl

16-year-old Lasheena Seward was reported missing from a group home on May 9

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Most Read