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

Enrolment is up overall in the district. Photo: Nakusp Elementary School
Enrolment at SD 10 schools skyrocket

Enrolment numbers have increased by 10 percent between Sept. 2019 and Sept. 2020

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

A view of the Burton Flats area. Photo: Submitted
Work progresses on man-made wetland near Burton

The project is already seeing modest results

Katrine Conroy
Katrine Conroy declared winner in Kootenay West

Preliminary results put NDP candidate firmly in the lead.

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Most Read