The Cariboo city of Williams Lake, B.C., has unveiled the intricately carved statue honouring local cowboy and rancher, the late Gerry Palmantier.
Williams Lake Mayor Scott Nelson and a host of dignitaries joined the Palmantier family for the unveiling of the 15-foot-high statue honouring the late Chilcotin cowboy Gerry Palmantier.
Cariboo Regional District chair Jon Wolbers said the statue will serve as more than just a tribute to the man. “It honours the First Nations contribution to the great sport of rodeo.” Gerry was a proud blend of Chilcotin, Shuswap and American heritage.
Kristy Palmantier and her three children – Jody, Davee and Julie – unveiled the statue, created in the image of her late husband by Riske Creek artist Ken Sheen. “He matured from a cowboy to a cowman,” said Kristy, urging her children to follow their father’s example. “Be the best you can be.”
Former Xeni Gwet’in chief Roger William said he was honoured the City of Williams Lake chose to honour one of his Tsilhqot’in people. “Horses and cattle are a part of our transition. I’ve been rodeoing a long time and I looked up to Gerry Palmantier and the Palmantier family. I recognize him as one of our legends.”
Gerry’s grandfather, Leonard Palmantier was the co-founder of the famous Williams Lake Stampede. In 2006, the Palmantier family was inducted into the B.C. Cowboy Hall of Fame.
*from Hurtin’ Albertan, written by Corb Lund and Tim Hus.