Howard, the world’s tallest gnome, located along the Island Highway near Nanoose Bay will be moved to Galey Farms in Saanich. - Facebook photo/Howard the Worlds Tallest Gnome

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents disappointed to see Howard the gnome leave

Some show support for new Saanich home; others hoped he’d remain ‘local’

Howard, the giant, eight-metre gnome that has spent the past two decades along Highway 19 near Nanoose Bay, has found a new home at a family farm in Saanich and some people are disappointed the iconic figure won’t be staying closer to ‘home’.

Howard’s fate was put in jeopardy last month when the property owners of the Chevron gas station, where he’s stood since 1998, announced he needed to be moved by April 30 or he’d be torn down.

Bridget Matewish, granddaughter of the man who built Howard, Ron Hale, said due to legal reasons Howard had to find a new home.

READ MORE: Giant gnome finds new home at Galey Farms in Saanich

Last week, a shortlist of five potential new homes for Howard was released, three of which were in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

The list included Treasures, Curios and RV Park in Coombs, the Log Cabin General Store in Parksville, Fast Time Grand Prix in Parksville, White River Resort in Sayward and Galey Farms in Saanich—where Howard will be moved as soon as possible.

READ MORE: World’s largest gnome will get a new home on Vancouver Island

Pauline Nelsen, owner of Treasures, Curios and RV Park on Winchester Road in Coombs, said she’s “very disappointed” Howard isn’t going to be living on her property.

“Why would he go to Saanich? I thought they wanted to keep him local,” Nelsen said. “I was disappointed when [the family] told me I didn’t have [Howard] but I thought ‘well, cool at last one of the other places around here got it’. I’m not very happy about it at all now that I know it’s going to Saanich.”

Nelsen thinks Howard would have fit perfectly in Coombs.

Norm Spann, owner of Fast Time Grand Prix in Parksville (1460 Springhill Rd.) said he’s also disappointed Howard isn’t staying local but has no hard feelings.

“I had a call from the family this morning, and understandably it would have been a tough decision where [Howard] should go,” Spann said. “It’s unfortunate that Howard’s going to be leaving the community but I did mention to the family if anything should change for them or any challenges arise let me know and I certainly would welcome having Howard here and I obviously think it would have been a great fit.”

There’s been a mixed bag of reaction on social media with some people showing support and excitement that Howard will be in Saanich and others saying they wish he’d be staying closer to home.

“Safe travels Howard. Would have been nice if he could’ve stayed a little closer to home,” said Michelle Armstrong on the PQB NEWS Facebook page.

“Good spot, just too bad he couldn’t stay local,” Chris Mclean wrote.

Matewish said she 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.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Third delivery of building units for 222 Corfield in Parksville arrives April 26

Vehicles should expect intermittent, single-lane alternating traffic

City of Parksville to look into cost, process of beach cleanup

Cleanup would include removing rotten logs, adding sand

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

RCMP ask Parksville Qualicum Beach businesses for help battling thieves

‘With your assistance forensic evidence could be located for prosecution’

Early morning break-in at Parksville Dairy Queen

Oceanside RCMP said incident occurred at 1:50 a.m. on April 17

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read