Lekwungen traditional dancers entertained the crowd with a series of dances and musical numbers on Saturday during the official unveiling ceremony of the wood-carved entranceway to the Garry Oak Learning Meadow at Fort Rodd Hill. The archway was carved by Tom LaFortune of the Tsawout First Nation. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Colwood’s Fort Rodd Hill unveils new hand-carved entrance piece

Entrance to Garry Oak Learning Meadow carved by Tom LaFortune

Tom LaFortune has been carving wood for 46 years, but he is adamantly opposed to having the title of “master” bestowed upon him.

“People call me a master carver but I haven’t mastered anything. I learn something with every carving I do,” he said.

His latest piece now stands at the entrance to Fort Rodd Hill’s Garry Oak Learning Meadow and was unveiled at a ceremony on Saturday morning.

The piece, which LaFortune said took him about two and a half months to construct, signifies the historical importance of this treed area for First Nations groups.

“We used to hunt in the Garry oak meadows for deer and (harvest) camus and other plants. It was a gathering place,” he said of traditional activities on the land.

LaFortune, a member of Tsawout First Nation, said the male and the female depicted on the carving represent the people and that the male’s mouth is open because speaking is the traditional role for men.

Having a piece commissioned for Fort Rodd Hill, which lies on the traditional territory of Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, is also special for him, he added.

“My grandchildren can come and see this and their kids can come and see it.”

The unveiling ceremony was highlighted by a performance from the Lekwungen traditional dancers and singers.



Just Posted

Saanich crash victim leaves behind pregnant wife and young son

The death of a Saanich man has left behind a grieving widow,… Continue reading

Material spill slows traffic on Highway 1 near Victoria

You may experience heavier traffic than normal if you’re headed from Victoria… Continue reading

PACE concert raises $6,500 for Langford family

Cathy Shotton recently donated her kidney to her daughter, Nicki

Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleaup

Thousands of butts were picked up by the Greater Victoria Green team recently

VicPD officers hurt in separate weekend incidents

Both altercations involved aggressive individuals encountered by police

Flu could see greater transmission in 2017

Health asking the public to get their flu vaccinations leading into a flu season that could start early and affect many in 2017.

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Flu could see greater transmission in 2017

Health asking the public to get their flu vaccinations leading into a flu season that could start early and affect many in 2017.

Nanaimo man assaulted, tied up and robbed at his home

Incident occurred about 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at a home on Beverly Drive

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Red hot Vikes women to host playoff opener

UVic Vikes This Week: basketball season kicks off at home

Most Read