Artist: Neville Warner
Medium: Chainsaw Sculpture, Macrocarpa
Sponsored By: Neville Warner, Community Donations
Humphrey was a sea elephant who visited various parts of Katikati – Bowntown, Kauri Point, Tuapiro and the Uretara Stream – between 1985 and 1989. The first sighting was probably in March 1984 when a sea elephant was seen at Mayor Island. He spent Christmas 1985 in the area, first seen up the Uretara Stream and then at Tuapiro. In March 1987 he was near Bowentown and in September 1989 he was ‘mooching among mangroves’ in the Tuapiro estuary.
He apparently missed his own kind for he appeared to become enamoured of a cow for a time, following her quite a distance from the water. But, of course, his attentions were not returned. His last visit was October 1989. Copying photographs, Katikati chainsaw sculptor Neville Warner fashioned his recreation of Humphrey from a huge Macrocarpa Stump, finishing off the work with electric tools. He began work in 1996. A popular drawcard in Mural Town Magic Festival Week, Humphrey then began a year-long seasoning period before being finally positioned at the landing. To ensure his surface is protected care will be ongoing.