Crews load Howard the giant Nanoose Bay gnome onto a moving truck on May 9. The eight-metre figure will be refurbished and placed at Galey Farms in Saanich. (Karly Blats photo)

UPDATE: Howard, Vancouver Island’s giant gnome, is on the move

Iconic figure will be refurbished, then put on display at Galey Farms in Saanich

Howard, the world’s tallest gnome, has officially left his home in Nanoose Bay.

Crews were at the Chevron Gas station in Nanoose Bay on May 9, deconstructing Howard. He came apart in four pieces—hat,head, torso and legs—and was secured to two moving trucks using a crane. He is headed south, to be refurbished andeventually placed on display at the family-focused Galey Farms in Saanich.

“We didn’t know what we were getting into but things went really well,” said Rob Galey of Galey Farms. “We brought up somany tools, we’ve got a really good crew here and did everything by the books.”

RELATED: World’s tallest gnome needs a new home

Galey said they ran into one challenge while deconstructing Howard—his torso was too wide.

“We had to remove one arm, he was not going down the highway, he was way too wide,” Galey said. “But that’s OK, he’s going to hit the shop, we’re going to take him apart anyway.

“He didn’t come apart as easy as I was told, we had to make some incisions in the hat to get started and after that we hadheavy frame and we were able to loop onto him and the crane was able to lift him right up no problem.”

Galey said Howard’s body weighs approximatey 1,100 pounds. He said his plan is to refurbish Howard and make his arm andeyelashes move.

Howard had stood tall at eight metres along the Island Highway since 1998, when he was built by Ron Hale. Howard was usedas the mascot for the amusement park that Hale’s family once owned at the property that is now the gas station.

Earlier this year, the owners of the gas station told Hale’s granddaughter, Bridget Matewish, that Howard needed to beremoved from the property due to legal reasons. Not wanting to tear down the iconic gnome, Matewish took to social mediato find Howard a new home.

After hundreds of suitors showed interest to home Howard, Matewish decided on Galey Farms because she believes he’ll havethe most longevity there and her family wanted him to stay on Vancouver Island.

“I’m really excited for [Howard], I think it’s going to be rally great seeing him go to his new home,” Matewish said as Howardwas coming down behind her. “It’s bittersweet but it’s definitely really exciting and I think he’s going to be really well takencare of where he’s going.”

RELATED: The world’s tallest gnome is apparently 16 inches too tall for Saanich

Before being put back together at Galey Farms, Galey said he has to meet with the District of Saanich officials, who believe thegnome is 16 inches too tall.

“He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records, and I don’t plan on de-crowning him of his title,” said Galey. “Sixteen inches isnothing.”

Galey didn’t make it clear why Saanich objects to Howard’s height, saying “there are some issues.”

“I don’t really want to get into it at this time. I’m going back to Saanich and we are going to have to find a solution.”

For now, Howard will go to several different warehouses in the Greater Vctoria area.

“I’m not even saying which warehouses he’s going to,” said Galey. “He is going to different places. Different people will beworking on him and he will not be viewable to the public at all.”

The goal is to have Howard set up at the farm in time for their popular Pumpkin Festival in October. He will be set up near thefarm’s railroad where he will be viewable by everyone.

“It’s pretty cool that so many people love this gnome and I am so proud to see him coming to the farm,” Galey said. “I’m reallyexcited to bring this to Saanich.”

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

 

’Howard’ the giant gnome being prepped May 9 for his move from Nanoose Bay. He will eventually be on display at Galey Farms in Saanich. (Karly Blats photo)

Just Posted

Victoria women’s program in critical need of household items for women

Everything from dining sets to beds is needed to keep their programs running

Reported crash backs up Malahat traffic near Tunnel Hill

Traffic is affected in both directions

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

CUPE Local 441 and SD63 have yet to reach an agreement at the bargaining table

CPR month promotes hands-on approach to life-saving measure

PulsePoint Respond App alerts people if there is a victim of a cardiac arrest within 400 metres

Sustainable food advocates gather in Victoria for annual Good Food Summit

Attendees can take part in field trips, hands-on learning, keynote presentations

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Report predicts drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses

Victoria Jazz Orchestra concert raises funds for the Single Parents’ Resource Centre

Maria Manna on tap for the Nov. 16 performance in Victoria

Renowned men’s chorus ‘Back by Popular Demand’ in Victoria

One of Canada’s premier singing ensembles kicks off its 39th season on Nov. 16

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Most Read