Golden Tree statue now in place in Abbotsford

An unveiling ceremony takes place Saturday for the monument in the International Friendship Garden

The Golden Tree statute was installed Tuesday at its permanent location in the International Friendship Garden on the north side of Clearbrook Library.

The Golden Tree statue is now in place in Abbotsford’s International Friendship Garden after a difficult start earlier this week.

The project, created in memory of three female farmworkers who were killed in a 2007 crash on Highway 1 in Abbotsford, was put in place yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) with the help of ACL Crane Service.

An unveiling ceremony for the monument takes place this Saturday at 11 a.m. The Friendship Garden is located on the north side of Clearbrook Library (32320 George Ferguson Way).

The Golden Tree honours Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, Amarjit Kaur Bal and Sukhvinder Kaur Punia. They were among 14 workers who were in a poorly maintained and unsafe work van when the driver lost control and crashed on March 7, 2007.

A coroner’s inquest into the tragedy was held in 2009, resulting in 18 recommendations to improve the unsafe working conditions faced by farmworkers.

The statue, designed by artists Dean and Christina Lauze of Mission, serves as a monument to the three women, as well as a “powerful reminder of the consequences of unsafe work,” according to the website that details the project.

Things got off to a bad start on Monday in Mission, when the statue fell off the truck that it had been loaded on and crashed onto the road, injuring two people.

But the installation proceeded the following day in time for the scheduled unveiling this weekend.

The Golden Tree was funded through $280,000 in donations, including $80,000 from the provincial government, $40,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers, $30,000 from WorkSafeBC and $20,000 from Vancity.

The full list of donations can be viewed online at goldentree.ca.