While one Chilliwack landmark (the pink car) awaits an uncertain fate, another has found a new home.
Scoops has moved across town, settling into a new spot next to the Landing Leisure Centre. The eight-foot-tall robot with backhoe buckets for hands had been at the Kel-Mor gravel pit on Promontory Road since he was created in 2005, but he’s now going to be delighting kids at Bill Kelly Park, a play area sandwiched between the Landing Leisure Centre and Exhibition Field.
Wishlow Cranes brought him over and settled him atop a pillar outside the archway entrance to the park, which is named after retired Kel-Mor owner Bill Kelly.
“Bill has been a long-time supporter of the sporting teams and events in our city and this is a fitting honour,” Dan Sawatzky wrote in a Facebook post at https://www.facebook.com/67imagine8.
It was Sawatzky, owner of Yarrow-based Imagination Corporation, who created Scoops at the behest of Kelly 18 years ago.
“Bill called me up and asked me to pay him a visit at his gravel pit, which I knew well,” Sawatzky recalled. “When I got there we had our usual cordial chat, discussing the projects I was working on, which he always took a keen interest in. Then he asked me to create a landmark which would act as the sign for the gravel pit. I came back a couple of days later with some concept art which he loved. He paid the deposit on the spot and I went back to our shop to begin work.”
Scoops was fabricated from scrap steel. He was placed on a stand with the letters Kel-Mor around its base, and the stand was mounted atop a giant gravel pile near the entrance.
“But he (Kelly) took things one step further,” Sawatzky wrote. “He took out a small advertisement in the local papers asking readers to name his new sign. The winning entry would receive a complementary truckload of gravel or topsoil as a prize. Amazingly, Bill received more than four hundred entries and the name chosen was ‘Scoops.’
“Scoops did become a well-loved landmark and welcomed patrons to the gravel pit for many, many years.”
The robot ventured out from Kel-More many times. Kelly loaded him onto a flatbed truck and entered him in various parades.
“When the locals became worried about the missing robot, Bill would put up a temporary sign that stated Scoops was off on an adventure and would soon return,” Sawatzky wrote.
When Kelly retired a couple years ago and sold the gravel pit, it was decided that Mr. Scoops would make one final move. The pylon he’ll be sitting has been graphically wrapped to pay tribute to Kel-Mor.