Stanley Park's “Hollow Tree” is a world famous icon. For as long as Vancouverites have had cameras they have been taking pictures of the Hollow Tree.
Here's a picture of my great-grandparents Ernest Lee and Kate (Chan) Lee circa 1907. Accompanying them in the photo is Kate's mother Mrs. Chan Yu Tan and Kate's youngest sister Millicent. Kate's father Rev. Chan Yu Tan was well known in the community and ministered for the Chinese United Church in Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo and New Westminster, where he and his wife retired.
One hundred years later, the Hollow Tree had become a Hollow stump, and damaged in the violent wind-storms of December 15, 2006. Because of further damage and leaning, and safety concerns, the Vancouver Parks Board voted to cut down the tree. But as of May 1st, the tree is still standing.
Here's the latest on Stanley Park's world famous Hollow Tree
On April 18th, students from Lord Roberts Elementary School visited the tree and sang a special song to the tune of O Canada, led by French teacher Duane Lawrence, author of Sammy Squirrel and Rodney
Raccoon, a children's book set in Stanley Park:
“Oh Stanley Park, Our home and favourite
Big Douglas firs, Where owls hoot, oh so grand,
With cedar trees and surrounding seas, You can walk there all you like.
There's a little lake, Where the beavers make, The best dams in the world.
Oh, Stanley Park, The animals live free,
Oh, Stanley Park was made for you and me,
Oh, Stanley Park was made for you – and – me.”
On April 18th, the Georgia Straight wrote a blog story: The Hollow Tree and the 2010 Olympics highlighting how the Hollow Tree plays a prominent role in the Origin story of the 2010 Olympic Mascots. The artwork and mascots were designed by Vancouver's Vicki Wong and her creative partner Michael Murphy of Meomi Designs. I first met Vicki at a fall 2006 event for new Children's books, where she introduced her book The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Sea Monster. I bought it immediately.
Concerned citizens discuss the Hollow Tree's future yesterday.
As of May 1st, the Hollow Tree still 'standing'. The Vancouver Province wrote a story about “Supporters hoping to save Stanley Park's famous Hollow Tree from the
chainsaw claimed victory yesterday after Vancouver parks staff agreed
to continue meeting to discuss its fate.”