Logger Mike shows his age

A downtown Campbell River landmark will be replaced next year

A downtown Campbell River landmark will be replaced next year.

Logger Mike, a long-time fixture of the community, will be taken down off his spar pole after suffering irreparable damage over the years.

The plan was made public at Monday night’s council meeting after Marcia McKay, with the Shoreline Arts Society, made mention of it in a presentation to council about the group’s future plans.

“We heard recently that you plan to replace the Logger Mike figure in 2016 and we want you to know we have an award-winning carver lined up,” McKay said. “So as soon as you’re ready, let us know and we’ll help make it happen.”

That alarmed Coun. Charlie Cornfield who asked McKay where she heard about Logger Mike.

At that point, Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, stepped in to explain.

“Logger Mike is getting old and as we go up and put the Santa suit on yearly, we’re noticing more and more damage,” Milnthorp said. “We contacted the Shoreline Arts (Society) to see if they would be interested in carving a new one.”

Milnthorp said city staff have budgeted for a new Logger Mike in the city’s 2016 budget, but what the new figure will look like is not yet known. Cornfield thanked Milnthorp for explaining, saying he was concerned the community was going to lose its beloved wooden logger and pole.

“We had it restored many years ago and I was just wondering there for a minute,” Cornfield said.

Logger Mike, who appeared in downtown Campbell River in the summer of 1984, was carved by Dean Lemke as part of a downtown revitalization project.

Since then, Logger Mike has been taken down for repairs several times. The most recent case was in February, 2008 when the logger was taken down for restoration and his spar pole replaced. Mike reappeared in October, 2009 next to a brand-new Spirit Square after a nearly two-year hiatus from his place at Tyee Plaza. Logger Mike was also taken down for an outfitting of rope, bolts and support brackets in 1999 and again for repairs in 2005.

The iconic Campbell River figure pays tribute to the industry that helped carve out the community and is outfitted in a Santa suit at Christmastime.