A plan to create a lasting symbol of appreciation to the Sooke RCMP remains active, and organizers hope a funding push early this year will finally bring the project to fruition.
The project began in September 2017 when a confluence of events inspired a local group to undertake the project.
The community had just started to come to grips with the tragic death of West Shore RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in 2016 when Sooke saw a spate of disrespectful and profane graffiti targeting police.
“We wanted to honour law enforcement officers and show them the respect that they deserve,” said Rosanne Day, one of the organizers of the project. “That graffiti was not representative of how the community felt and we wanted a strong representation of our appreciation, support and gratitude.”
While most of the activity since then has been behind the scenes, the group is planning a fundraising push for the beginning of 2019 and hopes it will be able to raise the funds needed to complete the project.
“We’ve raised about $15,000 so far, but the statue will cost about $78,000. We have a GoFundMe page established (gofundme.com/officer-appreciation-sooke) and Sooke council has committed $5,000 for the project. Now we’re inviting people to show their appreciation for the police by donating,” Day said.
“We’ll be announcing some other initiatives in the near future as well.”
The statue will be the work of the well-known local artist, Nathan Scott, whose work can be seen throughout Greater Victoria.
“It will take over six months to get the statue after it’s ordered. Scott will be using the lost wax method of casting to get the finest detail and very best quality,” explained Day.
“Sculpting will take 2½ months and making the mold will take another couple of weeks, followed by a seven-step casting process, but when it’s done, it will be a permanent and indestructible testament to our support of the brave men and women who work to keep us safe.”
Day invited anyone wishing to contribute to the project to send a cheque or money order payable to the District of Sooke (2205 Otter Point Rd., Sooke, B.C. V9Z 1J2) with “statue” noted on the memo line. She also invited the community to join the group’s Facebook page “Officer Appreciation Statue” to keep abreast of new initiatives regarding the project.