Boy and the Boot.

Boy and the Boot

Field review by the editors.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) in 1897. The wife of a rector of a Winnipeg church encouraged its Young Peoples' Christian Endeavour Society to save nickels to buy a suitable tribute -- which turned out to be a Boy and the Boot.

Unveiled July 16, 1898, the Boy quickly had critics. Some felt that a ragtag kid with a leaky boot was not the proper way to honor The Queen. Some were just angry that his badly-made boot had to have holes drilled into it to leak. In 1913, tired of the complaints, Winnipeg moved the Boy from his prime spot next to city hall to a duck pond in a then-remote park.

He stood in obscurity, apparently forgotten, for decades. It wasn't until 1948 that the city rediscovered its Boy, and this time it was willing to accept him. The duck pond and its surroundings were turned into an "International Goodwill Garden" in 1953, with the Boy as its ambassador.

His newfound civic embrace hasn't prevented the Boy from being stolen from time to time, but Winnipeg has always rallied to recover and return him to his leaky boot duties.

Boy and the Boot

Assiniboine Park Drive, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
In Assiniboine Park, which is on the west side of the city on the south bank of the river. On the north side of Assiniboine Park Drive, across from a little lake and just inside the entrance gate to the English Gardens.
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May 30, 2020

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