The Chemainus Festival of Murals Society is fortunate to have talented local artist Cim MacDonald to restore a mural when the original artist is not available. Cim, who was born in Scotland, has been the Curator for the society since 1996.
You may have seen Cim busy, during the cool of recent mornings, working on Mural #1, Steam Donkey At Work, on the north wall of the Coastal Community Credit Union on Willow Street.
The steam donkey was invented by John Dolbeer in 1882. It was a marvelous invention, a steam driven winch that could drag logs out of the forest as well as winch itself to another location. When it had to be moved a cable was attached to a tree, stump or other strong item and the machine would drag itself to the next spot.
If you want another look at a steam donkey check out the magnificent carving by Elmar Schultes across the parking lot from the mural. Elmar Schultes was a chef who became an expert culinary sculptor.
The steam donkey has long been replaced by powerful machinery but restoration of a mural remains a manual skill with long hours and special talents. Way to go Cim!
The talking wall has told me this is not the first Steam Donkey At Work mural. If you could flatten yourself wafer thin, you could squeeze between the credit union building and the one next to it and you would find the original mural.