John Lewis just wants his gnome back.
Over the course of the week, someone took the 100-pound statue from a build site close to the ‘big rock’ in Campbell River.
Lewis is having his retirement home along the ocean on Highway 19A.
That’s where the gnome was taken.
For the 63-year-old Lewis, this is more than just a simple yard ornament.
“This gnome was a big part of the family on the ocean, there,” he said. “It’s over 50 years old. It’s weathered. We’re building a new retirement home and it was lying in the grass and I guess someone thought it really had no value but it had tremendous sentimental value to my family and we’d really like it back.”
The gnome was his late mom’s favourite piece of beach art and has been with the family for decades.
It endured countless S’ouEasters and physically, paid the price.
Lewis said his heart sunk when he saw that the statue was missing.
He hasn’t reported the theft to the RCMP, but posted a photo of the gnome on Facebook, hoping to bring attention to the theft.
“These what I consider to be relatively minor (incidents) in the eyes of the community are big in the eyes and the hearts of those that are affected,” he said. “But I have not contacted the RCMP on this one, I just put out the Facebook (post) and was hoping maybe that the individual who thought it wasn’t of any value would do the right thing and return it.”
He hopes the power of social media will reunite him with the gnome.
“We had our camper stolen last year and thank God to Facebook and tremendous community support up and down the island I had my camper returned which was unexpected, and I’m hoping for the same outcome for the gnome.”
His parents owned an oceanfront property near the big rock, and being born and raised in Campbell River, Lewis couldn’t wait to get back after being away for years.
He’s retired and has been back in his hometown for five years.
Now, he wants to have the beloved gnome back in his life.
“It’s tremendous sentimental value to myself, my children, and my family,” he said. “It’s a big part of our life on the water.”