Mark Bate (1837-1927)

Photo of the art Dorthea E. Kennedy, Mark Bate (1837-1927), 2002

Harbourfront Walkway at Mark Bate Memorial Tree Plaza

This bust was created in the memory of Mark Bate, the first mayor of Nanaimo in 1875. The artist presented the bust of Mark Bate to Mayor Frank Ney during a year end City Council meeting and it was officially donated to the city in 1975.

Mark Bate served 15 single year terms as mayor (1876-1879, 1881-1886, 1888-1889, and 1898-1900). In 1873, he became Nanaimo's first Justice of the Peace. In 1875, he was appointed by Marine and Fisheries Canada to the Pilotage Authority for British Columbia and in 1879, he was appointed to the separate Pilotage Authority for the Port of Nanaimo. He was the first Chairman of the Board of Education in 1865, president of the Nanaimo Literary Institute for many years, president and conductor of the Nanaimo Brass Band, government appointee to the Hospital Board, and a member of numerous organizations including Ashlar Lodge, No. 3., Ancient Order of Foresters, Oddfellows, Arch of the Druids, American Legion of Honour, and Master Workman of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

After several decades, the Bate sculpture was beginning to chip because it was made out of plaster. Dianne Birch, the daughter of the late artist, successfully lobbied the city for funds to create bronze copies of Kennedy’s busts of Mark Bate and Ki-et-sa-kun (Coal Tyee). The two sculptures were placed in Mark Bate Memorial Tree Plaza just off the Harbourfront Walkway. Kennedy’s two bronze sculptures were unveiled in their location on June 29, 2002.

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