Nanaimo Public Art Inventory - Admiral of the Fleet

Admiral of the Fleet

Photo of the art
Artist: Jack Harman
Location: Maffeo Sutton Park
Category: Statue
Year Created: 1994
Materials: Bronze, Stone
Sponsors: Citizens of Nanaimo
Cost: $100000
Status: Public

Description

This bronze sculpture of Frank Ney shows him in his pirate costume and was dedicated in his memory (May 12, 1918 - November 24, 1992). Frank J. Ney was the mayor of Nanaimo from 1967-1984 and 1986-1990. He was known for his outgoing personality, his habit of attending civic events and dressing up like a pirate for the appearances and playing a central role in initiating the bathtub races across Georgia Strait from Nanaimo to Vancouver.
In 1967 "Black Frank" helped launch the now famous Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Race which originally ran across the Georgia Strait, from Nanaimo to Vancouver. The colourful pirate costume was worn to promote Nanaimo as "The sunporch of Canada, jewel of the west, and bathtub capital of the world". The stone base on which Frank stands, was created from stone quarried from Newcastle Island which Jack Harman selected and had barged over to Nanaimo. Frank Ney had many achievements throughout his lifetime including: Member of Legislative Assembly 1969-1972, Freeman of the City of Nanaimo", B.C.'s Tourism Ambassador, Honorary Chief First Nations of Nanaimo Killer Whale - Q-un Lhanumutsun, Active member of many organizations, Notary Public and president of Nanaimo Realty. Many people ask why Frank is facing the park and not the water. Frank Ney would never turn his back on the city he loved, and therefore he faces the City. His location is also important, as the spot where he currently stands was the spot where Frank Ney had wanted to create a marina. A miniature 3ft wax version of the statue was created prior to the bronze casting and it was donated to Frank J Ney School, where it is currently located. Over 200 donations from citizens of Nanaimo in a two year period raised approximately $125,000 which was spent on the statue, an upkeep fund and a Vancouver Island University Scholarship that has been given out annually. The statue is bronze and the base was made from stone quarried from Newcastle Island. The statue was unveiled on Bathtub Weekend in 1994.

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