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Global Conferential Tales VIII: Totem Finally Rises ..above the waves

Tribute to Chemainus

Perhaps the longest running and most tortuous tale of the entire Conference has been the saga of the Prestoungrange Totem Pole! But the Conference was its final instalment: It Was Raised and Unveiled. Its story was recounted for the first time as First Nation Carver Lack Tung handed it to the Arts Festival and the community at large before hundreds of witnesses from across five continents and to the accompaniment of Indian traditional ceremonies. [The full story of the Pole can be found in the Prestoungrange University Press Historical Series # 23, linked here].And the Poet Laureate, John Lindsay, has words to say as seen below:

click on all images to enlarge

Totem Pole Poem

It certainly rained on the parade but nobody cared. They all got drenched! It had been too long acomin' and was too important an occasion to allow rainfall to spoil the moment. The pictures below tell it all.

Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises
Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises
Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises
Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises
Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises
Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises
Totem Finally Rises Totem Finally Rises


Why a Totem Pole in Prestonpans?

Quite simply, the totem was the Conference Wow! Using the traditional art form of Chemainus the Arts Festival wanted to say A Million Thanks to Chemainus for the very idea that painting murals in Prestonpans could achieve what it had. And raising it before an audience of 60 other likeminded cities and towns around the globe could not have been a more appropriate opportunity for them all to share in that message of Thanks a Million to Chemainus and to its originating inspiration, Dr Karl Schutz. He looked on with pride one knows.

Yet the carving of the pole had been accomplished in a growing tradition started by Kenny Grieve who was also there for the occasion. He had helped identify Lack Tun and his outstanding team of Canadian carvers who had flown to Prestonapns to share their skills with local artists and gongoozlers and already has over a dozen other poles to his credit across Scotland.

Archival Footnote

The NewsNet items reporting the Totem Story from the original felling of the logs in Chemainus to its carving and painting can be linked below:

7 Sept 2004
30 November 2004
16 Dec 2004
20 Jan 2005
11 April 2005
8 July 2005
24 August 2005
2 Sept 2005
31 Oct 2005
30 March 2006
23 May 2006



Published Date: August 18th 2006


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