Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Centennial Fountain

Walking to Beacon Hill Park I passed behind the B.C. Legislature where the Centennial Fountain is located.  This fountain does not celebrate Canada's centennial, but celebrates the union of four colonies that became British Columbia.  Starting in 1862 the Colony of British Columbia was joined by the Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Stikine Territory, and the Colony of Vancouver Island.

B.C.'s First Nations are represented in this statue by four bronze sculptures around the edge, the bear, the raven, the wolf and the eagle, symbolic of the four colonies that came together to form B.C.  In the centre are otters and gulls, symbolic of the fur trade and the sea, both central to early B.C. history.

This is the raven, specifically representative of the Queen Charlottes (now renamed by the native name, Haida Gwaii).  The four colonies were of course a British imposition on the numerous territories of First Nations on the north-west coast and do not represent actual native territoies.  Attitudes to the role of First Nation peoples in Canada have come a very long way since 1962 when this fountain was installed, but it does represent an early attempt to honour those peoples in a less exploitive way.

As I do with waterfalls, I played around trying to 'stop' the water droplets.  I liked the result.

Beside the fountain are four important memorials, to Search and Rescue, Police, Paramedics and Firefighters who have lost their lives in service in B.C..  The second from left here is the Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

As you know if you've read William's story, I'm interested in any memorials like this that I find.

Beside the Legislature is a small Rose Garden, with a classic formal '4-square' garden design, but no colour at this time of year.

But just outside the hedge was that bright Rhododendron,

and growing out of the rock wall was a cluster of tiny Phlox flowers.

We had a great walk this morning looking for wildflowers here in the valley.  I'm accumulating pictures to share after I've finished sharing those from our trip out west in April.  

So do you know who Queen Charlotte was?  She was the wife of George III in Britain, the king who eventually went insane in the last decade of his reign; his son George IV had to reign as regent.  Meanwhile, Queen Charlotte is given credit for helping establish Kew Gardens in London.



12 comments:

  1. I see you are in my neck of the woods, sort of. We don't get to Victoria very often. Heading south to Vancouver is much easier. - Margy

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  2. Those memorials always give one pause for sure!

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  3. I cannot get past those photos that show the individual drops of water. They are just so awesome.

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  4. Four bronze sculptures, water droplets frozen in motion, and gorgeous flower colours. Every one truly lovely.

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  5. Love your photos and info about the local history there.

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  6. I would like to see that waterfall and the statues, and since I'm close enough to go, I will make a point of it one day, maybe this summer. I love seeing the water droplets frozen like that. :-)

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  7. Great history and beautiful fountain and gardens.... I asked MY George if he knew what the four colonies were --and he did remember Vancouver. He also knew about George III going insane and he knew about George IV... We declared our independence when George III was king!!!!! (MY hubby has a brain/memory like none other I have ever known. He remembers stuff I never even knew!!!! ha ha

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  8. Lovely fountains and flowers.

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  9. A beautifully designed fountain. I know a firefighter memorial like that would definitely draw your attention.

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  10. Lots of history. Beautiful photos of the blooms. I like how the phlox is growing out of the rock wall.

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  11. Great history. I do love the water droplet treatment.
    MB

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  12. Beautiful flowers, neat statues and a wonderful fountain.

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