The Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise. (Submitted photo)

The Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise. (Submitted photo)

Officials at Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise stumped by bizarre theft

Stolen stumps intended for use as benches in peace garden

The Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise is baffled why anyone would steal three tree stumps intended for use as benches for its Rotary Peace Garden and Little Free Library project.

Mike Haas, club secretary, said they recently discovered the tree stumps missing. They were placed outside the Rotary House storage shed located at 211 Fern Road West. He believes they were stolen during the week of Feb. 8-15.

“They were very heavy,”said Haas. “They used a ramp or something to load them up to a truck. I know because I brought them to Rotary House in the first place. I know what I had to go through.”

Haas said they were not visible on the road but he guessed somebody parked in the area and spotted the stumps, thinking they were free.

“We have a lot of people using our parking space because it’s usually empty,” said Haas. “They were only there for just a few days and when we went back they were gone.”

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The tree stumps would be an integral part of the peace garden and library, being constructed to celebrate 117 years of Rotary in the world.

“We’ve landscaped the area with some gravel and rocks and the tree stumps would provide people a place to sit on when they pick up a book and review it before taking it,” said Haas. “That’s the purpose of the stumps, for somebody to sit on.”

Haas said they acquired the stumps from a resident in Eaglecrest, who had some trees cut down.

“She had them all laying on her front lawn,” said Haas. “I saw them and I knocked on her door to ask if she was selling those. She said ‘No, take as many as you want.’”

Haas said they don’t have any way of replacing the missing stumps. He hopes someone might donate more for their project.

“With limited financial resources, thanks to COVID-19, we are appealing to the public for information that might help locate them or perhaps someone who has similar material would offer to provide at no cost,” said Haas, who can be reached at 250-594-8621 or 250-947-5739.

The theft was reported to Oceanside RCMP.

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