Before…This is what the Pete Ryan carving looked like as it was being sanded down and prepared for painting. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Pete Ryan carving restored to glory

Bright green paint, speckled ‘rocks’ and plenty of sanding for carving outside Hope’s district hall

Victor Smith said it took six days of sanding to get the Pete Ryan carving outside Hope’s municipal hall ready for some paint.

‘Pioneer Pete and Nugget the mule’ was originally comissioned by former Mayor Bud Gardner and council, the first edition of the carving made from fir said now-councillor Smith who restored the carving in his role with Communities in Bloom.Many carvings of the day were made of fir. In 2008 the carving was replaced by one in cedar. Both were Pete Ryan originals.

And despite a tiny mishap with bright green paint and a tiny roller brush, Smith together with Gord Emery got the carving sanded, painted and gleaming in time for the Victoria Day long weekend. Emery is a woodworking teacher, who has coincidentally had a hand in inspiring some Hope and Fraser Valley carvers.

It was critical to restore this work, Smith said. Pete Ryan is a prolific local carver and the one who started Hope’s claim to fame in wood art with the first carving installed in town completed by him said Smith.

To make the wooden ‘rocks’ Pete and his mule are standing on look more rock-like, Coquihalla Hardscapes donated their time and material.

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After…Councillor Victor Smith, left, with woodworker Gord Emery in front of the newly refurbished carving outside district hall. (Submitted photo) After…Councillor Victor Smith, left, with woodworker Gord Emery in front of the newly refurbished carving outside district hall. (Submitted photo)

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