Mark Trueman found a photo of his orca totem 11 years after it was stolen (File contributed/UsedVictora.ca)

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

On a whim one day, Victoria man Mark Trueman decided to type “orca totem pole” into Google images. Little did he know that just a few scrolls down he’d spot a photo of the totem pole that had been stolen from him 11 years ago.

“I was excited to know it still existed, ” Trueman said.

The photo resurfaced on Pinterest, in a location Trueman was not familiar with. However, even though more than a decade had gone by he knew it was his.

“These things are one of a kind,” Trueman said. “I put more than 200 hours into restoring it,”

PHOTOS: Totem pole comes down in Victoria’s Thunderbird Park

When Trueman worked as an electrical contractor in Duncan, he spotted an ailing totem of an orca on his client’s property and learned it was poised for disposal. Trueman asked if he could have the totem, and the owner gifted it to him.

He spent hours sanding and painting the rotting totem, and replacing the orca’s dorsal fin. When it was complete, he set it up in his front yard in Duncan, building a rock garden around it so it could be on full display. In total it sat around eight feet long and three or four feet wide.

In 2008, however, the totem pole went missing. Trueman had not been living in the house at the time of the theft because he and his wife were finalizing their separation. However, upon realizing that it was missing she called him to see what was going on.

ALSO READ: Linking culture and recovery– Greater Victoria totem project matches people with master carver

Trueman filed a report with the RCMP, but never heard more on the issue.

Now, after spotting the image online he’s done a bit more research. A reverse image search online shows it appearing on the website of Powell River-based Rising Sun Kayak Adventures, a business that is no longer open. A sister business with the same address and office number is also no longer in operation. Black Press has reached out to the company’s email address, which is still operational, but did not hear back by time of publication.

While he’s called the Victoria Police about the find, Trueman is hoping someone from the public can help him track it down.

“It’s not about the monetary value,” he said. “It’s the work that I put into and the fact that it’s a stolen piece of property and it needs to come home.”

Anyone wishing to contact Trueman can email Black Press at the email below.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Clearwater food bank receives donation from tree planting group

Dynamic Reforestation out of Williams Lake donated $1,400 in light of International Hunger Day

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Rod and gun club president speaks up on gun ban

Chase said such a sweeping ban isn’t the right way to address the issue in a democratic country

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read