While several windstorms over the past year have caused power outages and knocked down trees across the Semiahmoo Peninsula, a makeshift flagpole, plunged into the breakwater near the White Rock Pier, has defied the odds.
Wedged between the rocks, the unsanctioned flagpole, which was made from a driftwood log, braved the elements with the help of some rope, duct-tape and determination. Hard to miss, questions about how, or why, the flagpole was created in the first place were left blowing in the wind.
However, on Thanksgiving Monday, three 17-year-old boys were spotted on the breakwater. They appeared to be situating the driftwood pole and replacing the flag, which had been shredded into tatters by the sharp sea winds.
Again, the pole proved its resilience, withstanding severe winds the following day.
As it turns out, the reason the makeshift flagpole was put up was not only to show patriotic pride, but to symbolize a friendship that was strengthened on the very rocks where the flag is flown.
Not sure why these guys are going all Iwo Jima on the breakwater at White Rock Pier, but it’s pretty cool. #Thanksgiving #Canada @aaron_hinks @PeaceArchNews @SurreyNowLeader pic.twitter.com/lLaReDh7zg
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) October 12, 2020
Owen Pinto told Peace Arch News Tuesday that he and his Semiahmoo Peninsula friends, Jacob Niblett and Evan Slofstra, began fishing together in White Rock as a hobby about a year ago.
At the time, the White Rock Pier was closed to the public after being partially destroyed by a windstorm in December 2018. However, the dock east of the pier was still accessible, if you had a way to get there.
Using a canoe, the boys would fish – either off the dock or off the breakwater rocks – every other day.
In August last year, the boys decided to build a flagpole on the breakwater as a “symbol of our patriotism and bond that we had formed together that summer.”
Thanksgiving marked the third time the boys had to replace the flag, and they vow to continue taking care of it. Pinto said they used a higher quality flag this time around and stronger rope in an effort to prevent damage.
“We plan to continue to care for and update this Canadian flag regularly as it has become more than just a testament to our friendship, and has evolved into a community landmark of patriotism and pride,” Pinto said.