Christchurch's Totem Pole is again standing on Memorial
The totem pole had stood at the roundabout outside Christchurch
Airport for more than 30 years, until it was removed in June last
year for conservation work recommended by a timber conservator.
Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult says over the past year the
totem pole has had considerable preservation work on both the
timber and the paintwork, with permission from descendants of the
Cherokee Chief who carved it in 1959.
"The totem pole was a gift from the Oregon Centennial Commission
and the Portland Zoological Society in appreciation of hospitality
shown to Operation Deep Freeze personnel," says Mr Boult.
"It originally stood in Little Hagley Park and moved to the
airport in 1980. CIAL has maintained contact with Chief Lelooska's
descendants and had their permission to remove the totem pole to do
the work we have done.
"We have kept the descendants updated on the conservation work
and will send them photos of the totem pole in its new
That new position is on Memorial Avenue, overlooking what will
be the airport's Spitfire Square retail development.
The Totem Pole of Friendship was carved in 1959 by Indian Chief
Lelooska, a descendant of a long line of chiefs of the Cherokee
Nation. It is a smaller replica of a similar pole in the zoological
gardens in Portland, Oregon. It stands 9m high and weighs 545 kg.
Each of the figures on it are symbolic, with the Thunderbird at the
top honouring airmen who made the first supply drop at the South
Pole in October 1956.