Missing regalia returned by wanted man

  • Feb. 13, 2012 6:00 a.m.

By Jane Wilson–An Old Massett artist’s regalia has finally been returned after being missing for months. When Georgia Bennett loaned $8,000 worth of regalia to a photographer known as Isan Elliott so he could feature it in a book on Haida regalia, she did not expect it to disappear for months before finally being returned to a gallery in Victoria.She said she loaned the regalia to the man known as Mr. Elliott at the end of August. But she has since found out he is also known as Finn Elliott and Timothy Southwood. She said she believed he was legitimate after seeing his website www.ragaliaproject.com.”I could not believe I let him walk out of my house with thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff,” she said. “That apron was the first one I made, and it was a gift to my husband. The hat was a graduation gift from my mother, it’s priceless.”Ms Bennett created a poster of her missing regalia and the details of its disappearance on Facebook. “It went viral,” she said, “everyone was sharing it, it was great. People from as far away as California were contacting me.”Mr. Elliott/Southwood messaged her on Facebook not long after and Ms Bennett announced her intention to put her posters up across BC. She said Mr. Elliott/Southwood told her he never intended to steal the regalia and the two negotiated its return to a gallery in Victoria Dec. 9.Ms Bennett said he also returned a headdress he commissioned, but had never paid for. “At the next family function I’m going to cut it up and burn it, so no one gets his bad karma,” she said. She also expressed her gratitude to all the people who passed her poster along on Facebook.”I thank them with all my heart,” she said, “it only took a minute to right such a wrong and they did it with a click.”Mr. Elliott/Southwood or whatever his name is, lived on Haida Gwaii for a couple of years. In November, Queen Charlotte police were looking for him for possession of a controlled substance. He is apparently now living in Victoria.