Christchurch's Totem Pole is back on Memorial Avenue.
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.
Over the past year , the totem pole has had preservation work done
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. 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 and restore the totem pole.
• 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
• 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.