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

Painting collage brightens space at Parksville’s MAC

Donna Matilla and Tony Martin fill the room with vibrant colours in new exhibit

Parksville Qualicum Beach legions set to launch Poppy Campaign

Annual fundraiser to run from Oct. 25 to Nov. 11

Bear sightings up significantly in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Fruit trees number one food attractant, says conservation officer

Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Thieves pilfer laptops, tools, big-screen TV, cash and more

Oceanside RCMP received 256 complaints between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5.

Qualicum Bay writer Linda Tenney dies after battle with cancer

Celebration of life set for Nov. 2 at Lighthouse Community Centre

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

According to a press release, both parties met on Oct. 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read