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

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

UNBC hosting regional Moose Hide Campaign Gathering

The event is a part of a movement to stand up against violence inflicted on women and children

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Caledonia Sled Race organizer says volunteers from the community make the race possible

The Caledonia Classic Sled Races marked their silver jubilee this year

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read