Colwood residents are likely to see a big bright star on their evening drives and walks, but this one doesn’t require people to look to the skies to see it.
What is rapidly becoming known as the Colwood Star is actually hanging on the Triangle Mountain home of Leah Moreau and Dwayne Gordon. And given its size at more than nine metres wide, its surprisingly hard to miss for much of the city.
“It started last year and was just sort of a family thing,” Moreau said. “We like to decorate, but where we are on a dead end, no one can really see the front of our house. But we realized the back of our house has a wide view of pretty well the whole City of Colwood … it sort of took on a life of its own and it became well known in the community.”
In recent weeks, Moreau said, locals have been taking to social media to ask if the star would be making an appearance again this year. Buoyed by that interest, the couple decided to make their decoration even larger.
Gordon said he started collecting PVC pipes, plenty of nuts and bolts, some wooden dowels and around 200 metres of string lights with which to make a new star. He and Moreau The couple quickly realized they would not be able to assemble it in their garage, so they waited for a break in the rain and put it together in their backyard.
But building it would only be part of the challenge. Actually hoisting it up onto the back of their house would be another daunting task, as they found out Wednesday night.
“It took many ropes, many hands and a lot of praying,” Gordon said. “It’s not that it is too heavy, it’s getting it up there without destroying it. You are lifting it up a three-storey house and connecting it to railings while the top tip towers over you 12 feet in the air. It was a lot of coordination.”
Now that it is up and safely in place, Gordon has some suggested locations from where the star is most visible. The corner of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and Sooke Road offers the best view, they said, while Grousewood Place provides the closest viewpoint.
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, Moreau said they will be donating $1 to the Our Place Society for each photo she receives on Facebook from residents showing their view of the star.
“There are a lot of people in this community doing things to make others smile, and we are glad to be one of those people,” said Moreau. “It’s not our star any more, it’s the community’s star.”