Sunburst Over Mansons Hall

The Sunburst pattern on the west gable end of Mansons Hall dates back to the renovations of 1978-80. As the siding was not painted, it faded. 

In The Beginning …

“In 1979 and 80 a group of younger islanders led by John Sprungman proposed rebuilding the Manson’s Hall using federal job creation funds. It was a two year project that fully transformed the old Hall and tripled its size. Nearly all the materials and labour were from Cortes Island sources, including large amounts of donations and volunteer time. When we were installing the cedar siding, milled by Bruce Ellingsen and Gunnar Hansen,  there were a number of waste pieces with angle cuts from finishing the gables,” emailed David Rouseau.

“I believe it was George Sirk who started the idea of making a sunburst out of pieces. Soon we added a circular piece of yellow Arborite left over from the cabinets Jim Birkel had built for the bar area.” 

That Needs Brightening Up

One of the Directors of the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) was walking by, in 2019, and noticed the sunburst for the first time.

“I thought that needs brightening up. The hall is really the focal point of Mansons village and it would be nice to have something bright and noticeable,” said Andy Vine

He presented a coloured mock up, made with a photograph and Microsoft word, at the next board meeting. 

“They said, that’s nice, let’s do it.” 

Looking For Something To Do

Nothing happened until May 2020. 

“Somebody suggested that, because of COVID 19, a lot of people would be out of work and looking for something to do.”

Vine was going stir crazy himself, until he remembered the sunburst project. 

Not long after that Dancing Wolf, who has contributed his time to a number of Cortes projects in recent years, also noticed the sunburst pattern.

Initial Stages Of The Project

Dancing Wolf was instrumental in the initial stages of the project. He found the scaffolding, which Mark Lombard loaned the group. Then Wolfie had to attend to some urgent matters elsewhere. 

On May 5 I emailed the Hall Manager, asking what had been happening at Manson’s Hall, now that it was closed to the public?

Mary Lavelle’s response  listed a number of volunteer projects, including “There is one volunteer who is going to paint the sun on the side of the building along with a board member.” 

Vine gave me a longer list of volunteers, which also includes Eric Shaak, Steve  Mawdsley and Leland Ryerson. However John Winbush was his “main man,” who was there to help put the scaffolding up and take the sunburst pieces off the gable end. 

“John Winbush and I took the pieces and brought them back to my shop. We ran them through the planer, sanded the edges and then I went into town and bought some really good paint (Benjamin Moore). John and I painted four coats on each piece.”   

Putting The Sunburst Back Up

Dancing Wolf returned, and Loni Taylor also helped out, when the sunburst pattern went up again, on May 20th, 2020. 

The scaffolding came down at 1 PM the following day, which was when Andy Vine took the photo at the top of this page.

This story was posted on May 22 and additional material added on May 24.

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