Friday, 1 June 2012


Last summer while excavating for a sewer line, Vancouver City workers came across a big rock.  It was not just your everyday rock, but a very big, fully developed boulder. 

It was temporarily deposited in front of the Dunbar library. 

Dunbar is a neighborhood suffering under a burden of enormously high property values. At a time when houses are being demolished and flipped we found solace in this stolid visitor from underground. It was not going anywhere. People said things like, " Hey, look at that craggy rock!" 

The neighborhood historian went on line and got things moving:

The city crews working on Dunbar have uncovered a very large and very special Dunbar Aratic Rock and you can see it near the Library!  It was a rock that was in a glacier that covered Dunbar about 14 thousand years ago and when the Glacier melted, it parked itself on Dunbar’s doorstep and was covered with melt water rock, gravel and sand until it was discovered by the city crew about 2 weeks ago!  Yes, it is a part of Dunbar’s geological history; it is unique for it looks like it is of the very hard granite type that came from the Coast Mountains Range or even farther afield!  I think it could be ours, if we ask the city for it, but do we have a place to display it!  It is a great attention getter for visiting tourists etc., its home since riding on the Glacier and rolling off to its present Dunbar home, do we want it is the question and again where do we put it if we get it!  Got any ideas?  
Thucydides could have said it shorter but not better.

As with the current debate over what to do with our viaducts, a great online discussion took place.  Many were deeply suspicious that the engineers might  grind it up with their infernal machines. The pebbles would then be spread on non native, incorrect species like rabbits and raspberry bushes .

I wanted to give it to the State of Massachusetts to replace Plymouth Rock.  That Old Rock  is worn down from Pilgrims stepping on it and our rock, having serenely reposed next to a sewer easement for eons is none the worse for wear.  It would be Dunbar's gift to Plymouth just as the Statue of Liberty was France's gift to New York.

Another idea was to honour Vancouver Council by placing it on them.

Happily the Rock was moved to our own Memorial Park.  The event has been preserved for the ages on YouTube:

Around the same time, a story appeared in the newspaper.  Canada was ranked the second happiest country in the world, after Denmark.  (Denmark has more bike lanes.) A country that loves ordinary rocks and stones found in sewer easements must also love the universe and for sure is very happy.

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