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Friday, September 12, 2008

Michael Williams

I mentioned in yesterday's post that Michael Williams is immortalized in an unusual piece of public art. This is a life-size statue of him that I think is unusual because it is so unpretentious. It's just a man sitting on a park bench. Why is he there? The tiny park is opposite Swans Hotel and he is gazing at it. And why is he thus immortalized? He led an interesting life, arriving in Victoria originally as a dog breeder and kennel owner. Yet, through the twists and turns that fate often hands us, he ended up owning a substantial chunk of downtown Victoria, especially old buildings in the city core. As he did with Swans Hotel, he restored them superbly and I'll share some photos of some of his other award-winning restorations soon. But what is more, when he passed away, the bulk of his multi-million dollar estate and the many valuable art works he collected as a patron of local artists were all left to the University of Victoria, for the benefit of future generations.


USelaine said...

That is just perfect. At first I thought he was of a different century, with the hair, I suppose. But seeing it up close reveals a pleasant looking fellow who loved life and a full glass of wine.

Kris McCracken said...

It makes a refreshing change to see such a statue. It is all long-dead royals and British military men around these parts.