Ed Verreth was disappointed to find his memorial to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) had been damaged overnight on March 29 or March 30.
Verreth put the metal sculpture of a red dress on his lawn on McKinnon Street in Parksville about a year and a half ago.
“This morning I went out for my walk and somebody had tromped on it and flattened it — partially flattened it and bent it to the ground. It was really disheartening,” he said.
The sculpture is made of hundreds of bottle caps welded by Verreth, who has also made pieces representing sunflowers and red hearts, to support healthcare workers.
He said he has received quite a few positive comments from people walking through the neighbourhood. The street has had a few other incidents of vandalism, Verreth said, including when someone threw the contents of a community pantry into the road one night.
Overall he has not experienced many issues with vandals in his 20 years on the street.
Verreth was inspired to create the piece by one of his neighbours.
“There was a lady up the road who had one of those red dresses up for years,” he said. “I used to see it on my walk and I thought, ‘you know, I can do something like that’.”
He said plans to repair the sculpture and reported the incident to the Oceanside RCMP.
“This is just a piece of metal, there’s people’s lives that have been tromped down to the ground,” Verreth said.
Sgt. Shane Worth said anyone who has video surveillance or any other information related to the incident can contact Oceanside RCMP and quote file # 2023-3015.