Jasper pole arrives Friday

  • Jun. 16, 2010 2:00 p.m.

The Raven pole rolls off the BC Ferries ramp on Friday and will make a brief stop in Skidegate before heading up to Old Massett for a repatriation ceremony. The pole, which stood in Jasper for almost 100 years, was taken down in April 2009, after it was declared a safety hazard. It was carved sometime around the 1870s by master carver Simeon sdiihldaa and, as seen in an archival photo, once stood in front of a family home in Old Massett with the name John written on it. Purchased by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1915, it was shipped to Jasper and raised at the station to greet visitors arriving by train. The pole was originally 21 metres high and in the course of two moves in Jasper, was cut to the current height of 12 metres. Parks Canada acquired the pole in 2000 when the heritage railway station was purchased from CN. Since the pole has been taken down, layers of lead paint painted on it over the years in Jasper were removed by conservators in Vancouver. The pole is arriving on its own special flat bed truck at around 6:30 pm on June 18 and a small welcoming ceremony hosted by Chief Nang Jingwas Russ Jones will be held at the Haida Heritage Centre. Nang Jingwas’s clan is connected to the pole and everyone is welcome to attend the event that evening. The pole will head to Old Massett on Sunday and be ready for the repatriation ceremony on Monday, June 21 at 4 pm at the lot beside the Old Massett Fire Hall.