Colour photograph showing the exterior of Brett’s Garage with an airplane on the roof, ca. 1960s .(Photograph courtesy of the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, )

Tribute to Chilliwack aviation pioneer will light up liquor store roof

The neon-lit artwork ‘will really sing after dark’ for downtown motorists and pedestrians

A new public art project downtown will pay tribute to a colourful figure from Chilliwack’s storied past.

Council approved the placement of ‘Golden Eagle,’ a $42,000 artwork being privately commissioned by Anthem KRC Salish Plaza Ltd. to be installed atop the B.C. Liquor Store in Salish Plaza.

The “Golden Eagle” is a reference to an airplane of the same name flown by Chilliwack entrepreneur and aviation enthusiast, Earl Brett, in the early 1930s.

Brett started several business ventures around the burgeoning auto industry, as well as logging and mining, but he also became very passionate about aviation. He is recognized for generally popularizing flying in Chilliwack, and for opening the first airport in a field on Sumas Prairie in 1931.

His plane, Golden Eagle, was eventually hoisted onto the roof of Brett’s Garage, for all of Chilliwack to see at Young and Princess.

“We believe the piece submitted will be a welcomed and celebrated artwork for downtown Chilliwack, which complements the City (of Chilliwack’s) initiatives in revitalizing downtown, and will provide perpetual promotion of the plaza and downtown by creating a public art attraction,” according to the Dec. 10 letter about the artwork, sent to city officials from Anthem Properties.

The impressive scale of the piece will be seven feet high and 20 feet wide against a 68-foot wide façade.

“Older generations may remember looking up at Brett’s plane,” according to the Anthem letter.

At the council meeting before the placement was approved, Coun. Jeff Shields asked if the art work was going to be “a picture or a sculpture/structure.”

Coun. Sue Knott replied it is “a structure that is made out of neon” to follow the outline of the original plane atop Brett’s.

“Now the owners of Salish Plaza have requisitioned this piece and it is a replica of that exact airplane but in neon.”

Coun. Shields brought up the fact that it wasn’t going to be in the precise location where the plane was sited.

“If they actually wanted to make it perfect they would put it on the CIBC building, because that’s where it originally was, right on that corner,” Shields said.

Coun. Knott replied that “for whatever reason” the artwork is destined for the liquor store instead, and since the plaza owner is paying the $42,000 they can determine where the best spot for it would be.

One way or another, the neon-lit artwork will be visible from near and far downtown.

“Golden Eagle will really sing after dark for evening shoppers and drivers along Yale Road,” according to Anthem documents in the staff report.

READ MORE: Piece of Ontario aviation history found

READ MORE: Tragic Chilliwack war story


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aviationchilliwackLocal History

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A rendering for the public art piece ‘Golden Eagle’ to be placed atop the BC Liquor Store in Salish Plaza. (Anthem Properties)

Just Posted

Caretakers say goodbye to Gwynne Vaughan heritage house in Chilliwack after 17 years

Larry and Vicky Graitson have seen a lot of changes at the community park over the years

COLUMN: Chilliwack judge refuses to hear guilty plea and sentencing over the phone

‘The sentencing judge must be in a position to confront the offender, meet his eye’ - Judge Kristen Mundstock

Fraser Valley Regional Library branches offer curbside pick up

After two and a half months of being closed, people can once again check books out of the library

Thousands without power after semi collides with power pole in Chilliwack

The collision happened at Prest and First and now 3,600-plus customers are without power

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read