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

Galey Farms forced to store Howard the Gnome

If the back-and-forth saga of a Vancouver Island tourist attraction were a movie, it would be called Howard and the Sixteen Angry Inches.

Howard — the moniker of the world’s largest gnome — is apparently 16 inches too tall for Saanich’s liking, but his new owner has no plans to cut him down to size.

“He is the Guinness Book of World Records, and I don’t plan of de-crowning him of his title,” said Rob Galey of Galey Farms. “Sixteen inches is nothing.”

RELATED: Howard the giant gnome finds new home on Vancouver Island

He made these comments, while talking with local reporters in Nanoose Bay, after crews had dismantled the gnome for transport.

Howard, for the record, is eight metres tall or nearly 315 inches.

He proudly stood at the Chevron gas station along the Island Highway near Nanoose Bay for more than two decades, starting in 1998. But representatives of the gas station recently told the grand-daughter of Howard’s creator, Ron Hale, that they no longer wanted the statue on their property “due to legal reasons.”

This prompted a bidding war for the unique structure, with Saanich’s Galey Farms eventually emerging as Howard’s new home.

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

Galey’s remarks do not make it clear why Saanich objects to Howard’s height. “There are some issues,” he said. “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.”

Galey, however, insists that lowering Howard’s height is not an option.

Howard is due to arrive in the Greater Victoria area later today. It is unclear though where he will lay down his head. “I’m not even saying which warehouses is going to,” said Galey. “He is going to different places. Different people will be working on him and he will not be view-able to the public at all.”

Hopefully, some resolution will emerge, he said.

At issue is the status of Galey’s land inside the Agricultural Land Reserve, said Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich.

“The [Agricultural Land Commission] has confirmed that although [agri-tourism] is considered a farm use which would not require an application to the ALC, the construction or erection of permanent facilities is not permitted,” she said. “As such, the Galeys would need to apply to the ALC for a non-farm use.”

Catalano said staff met with Galey as soon they heard about his decision to acquire the gnome. “Saanich staff have not received any confirmation from the Galeys about height since the meeting held in early April,” she said. “To date, no variance application [for the bylaw regulating height] has been received.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Saanich structure fire sparked in child daycare

Motorists advised to avoid the area of the highway, Glanford Avenue, Royal Oak Drive and Quadra Street off ramp

Public member position open on Saanich Police Board

Job posting deadline Jan. 15, 2020

Saanich Peninsula firefighters look to douse hunger with annual food drive

The Peninsula Firefighters Christmas Food Drive happens Saturday

Victoria Foundation’s community grants support 109 local non-profits

Foundation delivers $2.8 million in grant money to local organizations

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Most Read