Crews load Howard the giant Nanoose Bay gnome onto a moving truck on May 9. The eight-metre figure will be refurbished and placed at Galey Farms in Saanich. (Karly Blats photo)

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

Iconic figure will be refurbished, then put on display at Galey Farms in Saanich

Howard, the world’s tallest gnome, has officially left his home in Nanoose Bay.

Crews were at the Chevron Gas station in Nanoose Bay on May 9, deconstructing Howard. He came apart in four pieces—hat,head, torso and legs—and was secured to two moving trucks using a crane. He is headed south, to be refurbished andeventually placed on display at the family-focused Galey Farms in Saanich.

“We didn’t know what we were getting into but things went really well,” said Rob Galey of Galey Farms. “We brought up somany tools, we’ve got a really good crew here and did everything by the books.”

RELATED: World’s tallest gnome needs a new home

Galey said they ran into one challenge while deconstructing Howard—his torso was too wide.

“We had to remove one arm, he was not going down the highway, he was way too wide,” Galey said. “But that’s OK, he’s going to hit the shop, we’re going to take him apart anyway.

“He didn’t come apart as easy as I was told, we had to make some incisions in the hat to get started and after that we hadheavy frame and we were able to loop onto him and the crane was able to lift him right up no problem.”

Galey said Howard’s body weighs approximatey 1,100 pounds. He said his plan is to refurbish Howard and make his arm andeyelashes move.

Howard had stood tall at eight metres along the Island Highway since 1998, when he was built by Ron Hale. Howard was usedas the mascot for the amusement park that Hale’s family once owned at the property that is now the gas station.

Earlier this year, the owners of the gas station told Hale’s granddaughter, Bridget Matewish, that Howard needed to beremoved from the property due to legal reasons. Not wanting to tear down the iconic gnome, Matewish took to social mediato find Howard a new home.

After hundreds of suitors showed interest to home Howard, Matewish decided on Galey Farms because she believes he’ll havethe most longevity there and her family wanted him to stay on Vancouver Island.

“I’m really excited for [Howard], I think it’s going to be rally great seeing him go to his new home,” Matewish said as Howardwas coming down behind her. “It’s bittersweet but it’s definitely really exciting and I think he’s going to be really well takencare of where he’s going.”

RELATED: The world’s tallest gnome is apparently 16 inches too tall for Saanich

Before being put back together at Galey Farms, Galey said he has to meet with the District of Saanich officials, who believe thegnome is 16 inches too tall.

“He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records, and I don’t plan on de-crowning him of his title,” said Galey. “Sixteen inches isnothing.”

Galey didn’t make it clear why Saanich objects to Howard’s height, saying “there are some issues.”

“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.”

For now, Howard will go to several different warehouses in the Greater Vctoria area.

“I’m not even saying which warehouses he’s going to,” said Galey. “He is going to different places. Different people will beworking on him and he will not be viewable to the public at all.”

The goal is to have Howard set up at the farm in time for their popular Pumpkin Festival in October. He will be set up near thefarm’s railroad where he will be viewable by everyone.

“It’s pretty cool that so many people love this gnome and I am so proud to see him coming to the farm,” Galey said. “I’m reallyexcited to bring this to Saanich.”

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

’Howard’ the giant gnome being prepped May 9 for his move from Nanoose Bay. He will eventually be on display at Galey Farms in Saanich. (Karly Blats photo)

Just Posted

The candidates for the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding in the 2020 provincial election. Clockwise from top left: Rob Clarke, Graham Hughes, Evan Jolicoeur, Helen Poon and Josie Osborne. Osborne was declared the winner on Saturday night. (Photos submitted )
POLL QUESTION: Are you happy with the results of B.C.’s provincial election?

Josie Osborne of the BC NDP and Tofino’s now-former mayor won the Mid Island - Pacific Rim seat.

Ucluelet RCMP detachment. (Westerly file photo)
Driver facing charges after crashing into pedestrian at Ucluelet crosswalk

“It’s a reminder to slow down and pay attention,” said Sgt. Steve Mancini.

Josie Osborne and her campaign team watch the results roll in during B.C.’s provincial election on Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of Josie Osborne)
Tofino expected to wait until New Year to elect new mayor after Josie Osborne wins provincial seat

Josie Osborne is the West Coast’s new MLA and that means Tofino needs a new mayor.

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Most Read