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Portuguese Joe statue will be installed in Vancouver’s Stanley Park

Members of the Coast Salish First Nations, the Portuguese community and Silvey family join master carver Luke Marston as they bless the ground for the future home of a 6.4-metre high sculpture in Vancouver's Stanley Park on Tuesday.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Luke Marston grew up hearing stories about Portuguese Joe's adventures and something about rights to a castle in Europe.

There was no castle, but Mr. Marston's great-great-grandfather and the Coast Salish women he fell in love with and built a life with have now become the inspiration for Shore to Shore, a 14-foot (14.3-metre) sculpture carved by Mr. Marston in yellow cedar then cast in bronze. The tribute to the master carver's ancestors will be installed in Stanley Park, not far from where Joe Silvey helped raise a family of 10 children.

Mr. Silvey came to Canada from the Azores in 1858 and married Khaltinaht, a noblewoman from the Squamish and Musequeam First Nations. She died of tuberculosis, leaving Mr. Silvey with two young daughters, the oldest of whom was the first child born in Vancouver of European and aboriginal heritage.

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After the death of his first wife, Mr. Silvey married Kwatleematt, a young woman from the Sechelt First Nation who became Mr. Marston's great-great-grandmother.

In a news release, their story is described as an illustration of the co-operation between First Nations and some European settlers. Mr. Marston's vision has been taken up by B.C.'s Portuguese community, which has helped raise funds for the sculpture and the installation will incorporate engraved Portuguese stone.

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