St. Mary to be replaced

  • Oct. 15, 2004 1:00 p.m.

By Mariah McCooey–A new wooden statue will soon be replacing the weather-beaten roadside icon St. Mary. Skidegate resident Dick Bellis has just completed a replica of the spring’s guardian, and is now just waiting for a cement base for her.
“Storms are getting rougher,” said Mr. Bellis, which is why he wanted a more substantial anchor for the statue. Also, he said, because it’s made of resilient red cedar, if the carving is elevated, it could last as long as 75 years.
Dick’s brother, Ted Bellis, carved the original with a chainsaw about 35 years ago, Mr. Bellis said, and it took him only about an hour and a half to do the whole thing. Creating a replica was a little more time-consuming – it took Mr. Bellis five days to carve it, based on photos that were taken when St. Mary was new. Computer whiz Bill Mackay helped by creating three-dimensional images, said Mr. Bellis. He took pictures of the top, bottom, front, back and both sides of the carving, to help Mr. Bellis create a precise copy.
“It’s amazing how much she shrank over the years,” said Mr. Bellis, based on photos and measurements. “Also she was really rough and craggy at first, but has been smoothed by the weather.” And what’s happening to the original? Mr. Bellis said that he’s giving it to Eric Ross – who was there while his brother was carving it, and whose memory helped Mr. Bellis with the making of the new statue.
One other thing. There’s a new book out “Mary of Canada” that features our St. Mary on the cover. The book, by Joan Skogan, has stories and photos of similar St. Marys all over the country.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii seabird conservation highlighted at international congress

Bird Studies Canada’s David Bradley is co-convening a symposium on biosecurity for island species

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Ferry sailing delayed after divers check Northern Adventure

Divers called in to check propeller shaft, sailing to Haida Gwaii now 140 minutes behind

Haida Gwaii fishery staff gear up for marine mammal rescues

Haida fishery guardians and DFO fishery officers better equipped to rescue marine mammals

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Canada’s team chasing elusive gold medal at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada, ranked No. 2 behind Japan, opens play Wednesday against No. 10 Hong Kong

Most Read