News

Inukshuk disappears before it can be moved

By Penny Coles, Niagara Advance

The Inukshuk that was on the front lawn of the former Parliament Oak School disappeared before it could be delivered to its new home, the back yard of long-time teacher Janet Andrews.

The Inukshuk that was on the front lawn of the former Parliament Oak School disappeared before it could be delivered to its new home, the back yard of long-time teacher Janet Andrews.

Janet Andrews has a spot in her backyard that’s waiting for the Inukshuk that was once a feature of the outdoor classroom at Parliament Oak School in the Old Town.

 

Unfortunately, when the time came to arrange delivery to its new home, the statue had disappeared.

When the school was slated for closure last spring, a transition team discussed what would become of some items at the school, including items to be moved to Crossroads Public School in Virgil, where most of the Parliament Oak students are now accommodated.

Joy Janzen, a former Parliament Oak parent, says a decision was made to move the boulders, also a main feature of the outdoor classroom, to Virgil. They would be properly identified with a sign, as a contribution from the Parliament Oak Eco Club, which was organized by Andrews, who taught for many years at the Old Town school.

A beautiful reading bench, tucked in a corner of the outdoor space at Parliament Oak, was placed there in memory of Porter Simpson, a young student at the school who died in a tragic accident in January 2011. His parents Deanna Simpson and Ian Irving, moved with their children Aila and Oliver to Saanich, BC, this summer, and took Porter’s bench with them.

“They have a lovely backyard area at their new home and the bench is there,” said Janzen.

The Inukshuk was destined to be delivered to Andrews.

“She had put so much effort and work into creating the Eco Club and this lovely outdoor spot,” said Janzen.

She had co-ordinated the fundraising, planning and sourcing for the outdoor classroom, said Janzen.

“We felt it was a very fitting tribute that this symbolic statue, meant to provide direction, be given to her. We knew she would be the best person to safeguard and cherish it.”

Andrews said she had chosen an Inukshuk as part of the outdoor classroom because it indicates “something special” nearby, and the outdoor classroom, she said, was definitely something special.

“That spot just called out for it.”

She was delighted to hear it would find a permanent home in her back yard, she said.

But time ticked on, and it wasn’t until December that arrangements were made to deliver it to Andrews.

She had noticed, as had others, that the Inukshuk was missing from its resting place at Parliament Oak on the day of the NOTL Christmas Parade, but assumed it had been moved somewhere for safe-keeping.

But when Janzen tried to find out where it was to move it, she discovered it was missing.

It was there in September, but no one is certain when it disappeared after that.

Janzen and Andrews both say it was likely removed by someone who wanted to rescue it from whatever might happen to the school property in the future.

It was cemented to a cement block on a mound on the property, and was very heavy, said Andrews. It was delivered to the Parliament Oak site in two pieces that were glued together, and it would have been difficult to move, she added.

“I’m sure someone thought they were rescuing it from being lost in the shuffle. I’m hoping it will show up somewhere. I’ve got a little spot ready for it.”

Anyone knowing its whereabouts can contact Janzen at 289-686-9795, or return it to the school, no questions asked, says Janzen.

 



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