Forests play an important role in our ecosystem and affects human life all over the world. Today, nations are debating how best to stop toxic landfills, atmospheric pollution, depleting rain forests, and other related issues all over the world.
Here is San Francisco most of us are well tuned to things sustainable. While each one of us has our own definition about what is sustainable, most of us agree that we should not waste and use what is really necessary.
Shane Eagleton has been in touch with reality and issues involving sustainable practices long before it became fashionable, to belong to environmental groups and activists, who stand for principles that are in harmony with environmental concepts for the good of Mother Earth.
It helps to work in a setting that is panoramic. It also helps to be surrounded by groups and people who encourage you and nurture you to attain your goals and objectives. It is Shane Eagleton's vision and hope that soon the Presidio of San Francisco, will be the world center where concepts and practices which will inspire everyone to attain goals in keeping with the highest sustainable practices.
The Presidio of San Francisco is about 1,480 acres of beautiful land, next to the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. It has some beautiful historic buildings spanning from 1776 to the late 1990. The Presidio of San Francisco was a military base up until 1994 and in all of its military history not one single round was fired in anger. Many a military personnel loved to be stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco. Presidio means garrison in Spanish.
Shane, has chosen to work at the Presidio of San Francisco. He has also chosen to work with many entities in the Bay Area, which is the area around San Francisco encompassing the neighboring cites and counties.
We are privileged to have so many free spirited artists, women, children, and men of good faith that Shane feels very comfortable making things happen for the good of the majority. It is important that artists contribute as they have for centuries towards the betterment of humankind. Shane Eagleton, is an international artist. He is very well known for his huge wood carvings. He prefers to call them "healing poles". We all are very familiar with acupuncture and the benefits this brings to the human body. Shane feels that the huge healing poles, once planted at various points all over this earth will bring solace to Mother Earth and those that inhabit it.
A few miles from San Francisco lies the port of Port Chicago. During World War II this port was famous as a loading point for dynamite and ammunition. Loaded ships would then supply the required dynamite and ammunition all over the Pacific Rim and beyond helping the war effort. As we all know Britain too played an important role in World War II and America was its best supporter.
On July 17, 1944 while dynamite was being loaded on to the ships at Port Chicago, there was a huge explosion and over 300 persons died. Most of them were African Americans. The buildings and the piers were shattered and huge pilings were strewn like straw all over the port.
Here begins the story that is linked to Shane Eagleton, Port Chicago, and the Presidio of San Francisco. In the 1980's, decades after the explosion 15 of the huge logs or poles, were brought to San Francisco and stored in a warehouse. In 1997 these huge logs once used as pilings at the pier were shown to Shane Eagleton. He took one look at them and had a vision. He would carve these huge over 40 feet logs into healing poles.
In the 1930's these huge logs were all brought down from Alaska. Yellow Cedar not a single one of these once majestic trees are alive today.
These huge logs survived the Port Chicago Explosion and they were well preserved because for decades they lay under fresh water.
Eleven huge poles were chosen and trucked to the Presidio of San Francisco. At the Presidio of San Francisco, Shane Eagleton begun to work on a project that linked him with the people of Africa, the first people of the Bay Area and San Francisco, entities of all faiths, the Secretary of the United Nations, Nelson Mandela from South Africa, and a host of other noble causes.
At the Presidio the blue prints were drawn and the first pole was commissioned to be presented to the "people from the Pacific Islands". The first pole was carved into a huge life size whale. The natural notch of the log was left intact and formed a huge eye. Once completed thousands viewed it at the Aloha Festival on Crissy Field at the Presidio.
There was great rejoicing at the Aloha Festival, August of 1997 where the healing pole dedicated to the people of the islands. The pole presented to the Ohlones was on display too. Everyone present was awe struck, and there was a certain dynamic situation that made all present feel good. It was a day of healing, making amends, and looking forward to better days ahead.
The second pole was dedicated to the Ohlones, the first people of the Bay Area and San Francisco. We all know them better as Native Americans. Native Americans from Northern California and others had the outline of their palm prints drawn on the pole. These would later be carved and their respective prints left forever on the pole. Americans and others forget that this land always belongs to the Native Americans.
The Ohlones are strangers in their own land. Up until 1927 they were recognized as a tribe and received protection and federal benefits. In 1927 the Ohlones were illegally removed from the Federal Register and today are strangers in their own land. This pole should remind us that justice should prevail and that we should respect one another. First peoples all over the world need to be recognized.
The third pole was presented to the Inter Faith Community. This pole received the blessings of representatives from all the major religions on this earth. Most of them practice their faith freely and respect one another in the United States of America.
The fourth pole was designed for Africa. It has yet to be fully completed. We are waiting for the right moment to complete it and take it to Africa and plant it in a auspicious place. We know the time is near and entities have approached us to make this great trip to the continent of Africa.
The fifth pole was carved and has been erected near Half Moon Bay. This area is famous for farming, horse and cattle ranches. It sits on the top of a hill and has been erected to represent those that toil hard to make a living.
A common design that each and every pole imbibes is the DNA pattern. It symbolizes life. Again and again children are the ones to notice this and ask you why this pattern? Once told they beam with joy.
The rest of the healing poles will be carved to served a unique purpose.
Shane's healing poles are all over this world. He has been traveling and where ever he goes he makes a statement. We should practice recycling. Not one of his carvings is carved from a live tree. We should treat Mother Earth with respect. Use what is necessary and not waste. It is better to live as a community that respects one another and works as a team. Let us learn our lesson from innocent children, when they are young and not biased.
In the interim an occasion presented Shane to carve a piece from a 2000 year yellow cedar from a recycled piece of wood, once part of a building at the Presidio of San Francisco. This piece of carved wood depicting the Golden Gate Bridge was presented to Koffi Annan the Secretary General of the United Nations, when he visited the Presidio of San Francisco at the Presidio Officers' Club in 1998.
The Secretary was very impressed and reminded everyone present that it was important to adhere to recycling, even as it was important to adhere to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
The Summit on Africa brought people from all over Africa to San Francisco, June 3-6, 1999. Present was the Mayor from Soweto, Mayor Nandi Mayathula Khoza. We requested the Mayor if she would take a piece of carving to Nelson Mandela. Shane Eagleton has always been impressed with Nelson Mandela, a man who served a prison term for 27 years, led his country to freedom and then stepped down to see others lead it to progress.
The Mayor carried a carving to South Africa and Shane also carved a special carving from redwood for the Mayor of Soweto, both pieces over 1800 years old. There was great rejoicing and Shane made history one more time.
Shane's carvings are all over the world. They are all over the Bay Area too. In the middle of the San Francisco Zoo is a seat carved in the middle of a tree, that chose not to live. Millions sit on this seat, both adults and children.
At the Shoreline Amphitheater there is a huge healing pole. Here millions gather to attend concerts. This piece was commissioned by the legendary concert promoter Bill Graham our common friend.
Every year Shane makes it a point to go to summer camp for the blind. He loves to carve and get feed back from the blind. Outside the blind institute in San Francisco Shane had a huge healing pole.
Mr Henry Dakin a friend of those that cater to the community supports the Presidio Alliance. The Presidio Alliance stands for all things sustainable. Out the Presidio Alliance as one enters the Presidio of San Francisco, by the Lombard Gate is a huge redwood log. This log is dedicated to the youth of the world.
From San Francisco the City that knows how and named after Saint Francis Assisi who loved birds, animals, and nature, who lived to serve humankind, Shane Eagleton files to Dewsbury to spread the love he is so famous for. He plans to start a project that will inspire the people of Dewsbury to unite and use their dynamic powers to bring progressive changes all over England and beyond. We wish this project well.