Saanich farmer plans to refurbish, mechanize world’s largest gnome
Published Tuesday, March 26, 2019 9:41AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 26, 2019 6:15PM PDT
The already eccentric and beloved attractions at Saanich’s Galey Farms are about to get a record-breaking addition.
The owners of Nanoose Bay’s iconic Howard, the world’s largest gnome, have officially chosen where the huge character will reside.
On Tuesday morning Bridget Matewish, the granddaughter of the gnome’s creator, announced Howard would be moving south of the Malahat.
The Matewish family decided the gnome’s final destination will be Galey Farms.
"Galey offered the most opportunity to fix him," said Bridget. "There were a lot of boxes checked."
The mid-island family received roughly 150 requests to take the record-setting attraction.
The family of the man who built the gnome, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest, had to find him a new home – because the owners of the Chevron station where it stood for years said they wanted to dismantle it.
Over in Saanich, Howard’s new owners said they don’t want to dismantle him, they want to rebuild and even mechanize the nearly eight-metre-tall tourist attraction.
"One of the things I asked them is if I could make him wave," Rob Galey told CTV News. "They said yes."
Galey says he plans to meticulously refurbish Howard, and possibly install animatronics over the summer. He also intends on creating a small display to accompany Howard. The exhibit will be called "gnome-mans land."
The Matewish family offered Howard free of charge to the Saanich farm, but did have several stipulations: Howard must be repainted to his original green colour, the structure has to be kept in good condition, a plaque with the name of Howard's creator will be on display, and finally, the entire Matewish family must be given free lifetime access to the farm.
Galey asks that the public give him and his team time over the summer to bring Howard back to his original glory.
Galey says he would like to have Howard open for public viewings by October.