Moving memories for legion

The Week — Feb. 16-22

This moving print has members of an Island legion hall wondering about the painting’s mysterious history.

The Week — Feb. 16-22

An artistic mystery has cropped up north of Victoria, as a painting anonymously donated to one Island legion hall has been turning heads and striking hearts — leaving many to wonder the story behind the moving image.

The print was rolled into a tube and left at the doors of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 in Qualicum Beach last November. Staff were shocked by the image. They mounted and hung the early Christmas present as a memorial alongside other memorabilia in “Pussers Corner,” an area of the legion hall that pays tribute to sailors leaving for their ships.

“We’re so grateful to whoever thought to donate the print, and it’s just such an incredible image, but now we want to know more about it,” says John Dyson, a former lieutenant-commander engineer and legion member who has dedicated his last few months with a shoulder injury to tracking down the painting’s history. “All we really know is that the name ‘Robertson’ is on the left-hand corner, and that the image just grabs you.”

Dyson has worked with community members and other legions across Canada, and has heard from curators and art historians as far as France and Italy weighing in on the painting’s possible origins. Still, no one seems to have any conclusive findings, and Dyson and the group are hoping someone in the know comes forward.

“We have had a lot of response about this, but nothing has been nailed down yet,” says Dyson. “It looks like an old print and, believe me, we’re all old, but it would be nice to solve this mystery.”

Dyson hopes to find some answers by the time Qualicum Beach celebrates its Navy Day on Feb. 26, when the legion hosts 300 military members from around the Island. Anyone with information can contact Dyson at dyso@shaw.ca. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends, family suprise Current Swell singer and new wife with socially distant wedding

‘We just thought we were going over there to have a glass of champagne and do some paperwork’

Victoria art gallery provides Open Space in an online way

View Chantal Gibson’s recent show on the web, hear Indigenous stories on Instagram starting Sunday

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

After 37 years, Campbell River Arts Council annual members’ show goes online

38th Annual Members Show shifted from physical gallery to website

COVID-19: Vancouver Island man forges hearts for his community

Dave Kasprick has already given out approximately 400, plans to make it 600

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Vancouver Island musicians in quarantine thank neighbours with backyard performance

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer and his sons play for those in self-isolation

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxophonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Campbell River journalist launches Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians, a volunteer virtual concert, of sorts

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Most Read