The Cross

Click here for Route Map showing how to get to the Cross location

Jan 15th, 2015 – The Cross in Back!

The Cross is cemented back into position! Check out the video the Nature Conservancy of Canada created showing the  process of returning the Cross to its original position!

Dec 18th, 2014 – Cross to return to Mountain

After consulting with the public, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has announced its decision to return the now repaired cross  to its original location atop Mount Tzouhalem in 2015

Nov 21st, 2014 – Cross taken down for repairs

Cross has been been  taken to Providence Farm for assessment by cross co-creator Jack Pearce

Nov 11th, 2014 – The Cross is retrieved and hauled back up to an area near its original location (Many thanks to Claire Spencer, Kieran Hartford, Amoray Aloisi, Michael Fransen, Warren Spencer and Dale Spencer). It is uncertain as to what will be done next with this Cowichan Valley landmark.

Nov 6th, 2014  – The Cross has fallen! Blown off the mountain by high winds during Nov 6, 2014 windstorm. It was later located in a gully, 30m  below its original location.

The Cross – Toppled from Nov 6, 2014 Windstorm

 

Peter Cain and Oly Bar on construction day of the cross
Peter Cain and Oly Bar on construction day of the cross

 

 

 

History of the Cross

This info was kindly provided by Maria at Providence Farm, her father welded the cross…

Originally, a wooden cross was put up on Tzouhalem in 1976 by St. Ann’s Catholic Church (Able Joe) and St. Edward’s Catholic Church (Cliff Pascoe). The cross was put up as part of “ecumenical” celebrations – part of Easter/Good Friday. Each year many people hike to the cross stopping to do the “stations of the cross” on the way up as part of the Catholic Easter celebration.

The wooden cross was repeatedly vandalized (burned/cut down), so it was replaced with the metal cross in 1988 (approx date). Maurice Dupont, a welder, made the cross in Crofton, and 3 members of Knights of Columbus, as a group, got it up there. The group included Jack Pearce, Peter Cain and Oly Bar. They drove up the mountain as far as possible then carried the steel and cement in the rest of the way. The picture above was taken after the final cementing was completed

There is also an old legend:
Chief Tzouhalem, a vicious, warring and grossly disfigured Chief, would hide out in the caves that are in Mt. Tzouhalem before and after a raid. Legend says that when he tired of his “wife” he would take her up to the point where the cross is, and throw her off – then he would go and “take” another wife. It is rumoured that he had up to 40 wives though when he was killed in 1859 he had only 14.

One story suggests he was exiled from his tribe for killing his fellow tribesmen so he moved to a cave on the mountain which now bears his name.

Another is little grimmer. He and his tribe had planned to take his next wife from a nearby tribe, planned the attack and went to carry it out. Story goes that the tribe they went to attack got word of the plan, and planned their own ambush. During the ambush Chief Tzouhalem’s head was severed. They buried his body somewhere, but kept the head to guard it for some spiritual reasons (to keep his spirit from returning?). Apparently his head is still being guarded somewhere…

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7 thoughts on “The Cross”

  1. The history of the cross does not include the important Cowichan history of carrying the cross up the mountain for perhaps a hundred years every Easter to observe the 14 stations of the cross.

  2. The cross has been for many years a ‘destination’ for hikers and I appreciate that it has been cemented back into it’s original position.

  3. I’m so glad they were able to put the cross back up. I love going up there and seeing it and the different views and getting some great pics!

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Duncan, British Columbia

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