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Halibut * Consignment
This past summer I had the privilege of returning to the country known to the world as River’s Inlet. Those of you who have read my book Copperman will know my connection to this beautiful part of the coast. My brother Ted Wakas treated myself and my sons, Gord and William to a fishing trip to Good Hope cannery which is one of the oldest cannery sites left on the west coast with many of the original buildings still standing.
My name, Tlakwagila, comes from the House of Wakas at the head of Rivers Inlet and my brother, Ted is the head Chief of the House of Wakas and so this would be a special trip for us all. Ted and brother, Dwayne Wakas are guides at the Good Hope Cannery and Ted had reserved the time to guide myself and my two sons for our entire four days of fishing.
The inspiration for this work titled Halibut comes from a once in a lifetime experience. The morning began with a beautiful sunrise as we made our way to the halibut fishing grounds near the mouth of Rivers Inlet. We had planned to spend the day fishing for halibut and so it began with a cruise through the coastal waters where humpback whales put on a show with numerous breaches where they jump clear of the ocean and land with a monstrous splash. So amidst whales, eagles and the ever present sea gulls, we arrived and began jigging for HALIBUT.
I sang the song of my grandfather and told some of his stories as we fished. • The first bite came on my rod and before I could start the fight my son William had a hit on his rod. The excitement increased considerably as we realized a double header. As Will and I began the task of bringing our halibut to the surface Ted and Gord coached and remained beside each of us to help. All of a sudden Ted shouted to Gord as his rod began to dance. There we were, Dad and two sons all with halibut on at the same time. Ted stayed calm and figured my halibut was the biggest and would take the longest to bring in so he concentrated on Will and Gord. By the end of it all we had three halibut in the boat and our hearts full of Joy.
I’ll never forget that day and can think of it every time as I look at a copy of the silk screened print of HALIBUT hanging on my wall at home. The octopus in the belly of the halibut harkens back to a story I always tell of seeing my first large halibut on the dock with sucker marks all over it from a fight with a large octopus which is the favorite food of halibut. There’s another story I tell of my grandfather, Henry Vickers and his experience of watching a halibut break the surface of the sea with a large octopus as they battled in the ongoing struggle between hunter and prey.
There are so many stories and this one I share with you of Halibut, is as exciting for me to tell as any of the great stories I’ve heard.
Thank you Ted, and thank you Tony and Good Hope Cannery staff you made this one of the outstanding experiences of my life.
Roy Henry Vickers
Artist: Roy Henry Vickers
Medium: Original Print
Image Size: 27.75" x 19.75"
Framed Size: 36.75" x 27.75"
Edition Size: 100
Date Sold Out: May 2009