St. Mary’s guardian offers reward

  • Jan. 31, 2005 10:00 a.m.

By Mariah McCooey–Jack Greenwood has posted a $500 reward leading to the conviction of the attackers and flower-pilferers that have been targeting St. Mary.
The Queen Charlotte resident is guardian of the wooden mascot of St. Mary’s Spring, near Lawnhill. He’s been looking after Mary for over 14 years, taking over when her creator, Ted Bellis, passed away.
“And it’s been nothing but trouble,” he said.
In the fourteen years he’s been caretaking, Mary has been chucked off the bank into the ocean at least 12 times, and knocked over about 15 times. “People just keep bashing her, throwing her in the oceanÂ… I just can’t fathom how people do this, why they do it. It’s just insaneÂ… I just don’t know what goes on in their dysfunctional minds.”
And that’s not the only abuse the 30-plus-year-old carving puts up with. The flowers Mr. Greenwood puts on St. Mary keep getting stolen. In fourteen years, he estimates he’s replaced the bouquet at least 150 times. “Damn near every time I go up there, they’re gone.”
Once, some hunters from the Prairies tried to take her home as a souvenir. Mr. Greenwood was on his way to visit the spring, and was shocked when Mary was nowhere to be seen. He became more alarmed when there was no sign of her on the beach, and called the police. Mary was found in the ferry line-up, under a pile of deer carcasses. “I was lucky,” he said.
St. Mary is getting all scarred up. The repeated abuse is taking its toll on the aging mascot, and it’s taking its toll on Mr. Greenwood. “She’s a beautiful, beautiful statue,” he said, “she’s part of the islands – it’s sacrilege (for islanders) to abuse her.” St. Mary is precious to him, he explained – carver Ted Bellis was his “very best friend” and his wife’s uncle.
“Lately I’ve just gotten fed up,” he said. “I put 25 bags of concrete around her. I’m 68 years old, I probably shouldn’t be doing stuff like that – but I had to do it. Hopefully now nobody can move it.”

Just Posted

Queen Charlotte crackdown

RCMP target impaired driving amidst rising numbers of the offence

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Haida Gwaii storm causes B.C. ferry delay

Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Rainfall warning for Haida Gwaii

High winds also expected to hit the islands

Haida Gwaii eagles recovering in Ladner care facility

Treatment for the eagles is both costly and time intensive

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read