Howard, the world’s largest gnome, has found a new home at Galey Farms in Saanich.
Although an exact date hasn’t been set, the iconic Nanoose Bay gnome will be moved down-Island to the family-focused farm as soon as possible.
Bridget Matewish, granddaughter of Ron Hale, the man who built Howard in 1998, said they received a huge amount of interest from people wanting the unique creation. Last week, five finalists were revealed: the White River Resort in Sayward, Treasures, Curios and RV Park in Coombs, the Log Cabin General Store in Parksville, Fast Time Grand Prix in Parksville and Galey Farms in Saanich.
“We were blown away by the response and support for Howard,” Matewish said. “We’ve had people reach out from all across Canada and even a handful of the the States.”
Matewish said her and her family ultimately decided on Galey Farms because they felt it had the most longevity and that her grandparents would think it was the best location for Howard.
Rob Galey is thrilled to offer Howard his newest home on the family’s Blenkinsop Road farm.
“I’m absolutely excited,” he said. “I think [Howard’s] going to be so welcomed to the Galey family.”
Galey said his farm is very much family-focused and will see thousands of people visit each day during the fall season when activities start, so Howard will be well-viewed.
“It’s crazy busy, and we’re big in the summertime, too,” Galey said.
Galey plans to put Howard in a spot on the farm that is easily accessible for people to take photos with him. He said Howard will have his own area among other fairytale-inspired pieces like large mushrooms, dragonflies and hummingbirds.
Howard will also receive a full restoration.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Galey said. “We will be giving him a full restoration, everything right down to his frame and get him back to 100 per cent.”
The eight-metre gnome has stood at the Chevron gas station along the Island Highway near Nanoose Bay since 1998.
Matewish said representatives from the gas station told her “due to legal reasons” they no longer want the statue on their property.