Local businessman steps up to restore mural of town founder, desecrated by vandals

An art conservator, working with a local artist and her husband, stepped up last week to help save the desecrated mural of one of Princeton’s founders.

Earlier this month a mural on the front of the Legion honoring Susan Allison, was spray painted by vandals.

Concerns were raised that the damage was too great repair, even given the protective coating initially applied to the piece when it was installed five years ago.

“To see something like that, it just drives me nuts,” said Kurt Robertson, who owns a local small business, Robertson Painting.

Robinson is also a former fine arts student and an art conservator.

“I saw the mural and I was just enraged. I was like ‘I’m gonna fix that,’”

The mural’s creator Merrilyn Huycke and her husband Paul were attempting to remove the graffiti when Robertson arrived at the Legion.

Sharon Paterson, office manager of the Princeton Legion, said she was impressed with Robertson’s contributions.

“The guy came yesterday and just took it off and there you go. He noticed it then brought his own stuff and as far as I know he isn’t even a Legion member.”

Robertson said removing graffiti in this manner just requires “that you be very careful.”

Some of the original paint was disturbed during the process, but Robertson said in the spring he will restore it.

“It will be fun to do the twizzling up on the artwork.”

Susan Allison, an author and pioneer, was the wife of John Allison, and the couple is credited with founding the Town of Princeton.

She was born in Ceylon, in 1845, and moved from England to B.C. in 1860.

Along with her mother, she founded the first school in Hope.

She married John Allison and the couple were two of the first non-aboriginal settlers in Princeton. They had 14 children.

Doreen Poulsen, Legion past president, commended Robertson for his efforts.

“Yes, Princeton is a great place to live. There are so many caring citizens here.”

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