On November 16, 2008 a Grumman Goose aircraft with 9 passengers and crew crashed during a flight from Vancouver International Airport to Toba Inlet, BC. The plane exploded according to the lone survivor. This person was rescued up by the Coast Guard on South Thormanby Island off British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. The Pacific Coastal Airlines plane had been chartered by construction contractor Peter Kiewit Sons Co., to bring the employees to a hydroelectric project in B.C.’s Toba Inlet, about 160 kilometres north of Vancouver. Also, another tragic event took place as a worker of Kiewit Construction was struck by falling debit and subsequently killed at the construction site in the Toba Valley.
GOALS AND VISION
To honour the lives that were lost and the surviving families and Pilot who survived, a plan to erect a memorial pole was started by members of the Klahoose Nation, Peter Keiwit and Sons Construction and Plutonic Power Corporation. With support of the Klahoose Chief and Council and the Qathen Xwegus Management Corporation a surge of energy to complete this important has come on the forefront of priorities.
After community input and a search for candidates, Coast Salish Carver Darren Joseph from the Squamish First Nation was selected for the project to carve the pole. With input from Klahoose elders and community members the design for the pole was created and a model version was carved to scale.
At the present time the pole is under construction. Look for the next article to highlight carver Darren Joseph and the story behind the pole.