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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 24 LETHBRIDGE HERALD TuMdiy, March 5, 1974 Forgotten artist fashioned animals CALGARY (CP) His mind remains sharp, although the voice is slurred by .both age and the accent he so proudly retains from his native Finland. The hands that guided his talents to so many creations are still steady at 91, but it has been five years since he put them to work. John Kanerva constructed more than 50 life-size prehistoric creatures that continue to thrill visitors to the Calgary Zoo. The animals are second in prominence as a tourist attraction to only the Stampede but the man who constructed them has been all but forgotten by the city. There has been talk of naming a street after him, or the part of the zoo where his creations dominate the scenery. Meanwhile, Mr. Kanerva shares a small room in a nursing home- Jack Kanerva recalls that his father cried when his children read to him the latest story of plans to give him some lasting recognition. "He wants 4t very badly. "If they finally decide to do something for him, he will be at the ceremonies. I'll carry him if I have to, but knowing dad he just might end up carrying me." Theatre work John Kanerva earned a living in Finland painting theatre backdrops before ox, tfaecf 1970 TOYOTA STATION WAGON Radio. Std. trans. Runs nice. 1969 DODGE POLARA 4-door, V-8. Auto, trans. Radio, rear defroster '1445 1970 CHEV BEL-AIR 6 cyl.. Radio, Auto. Trans.. Economical and clean. 1966VAUXHALL 4-door, 4 cyl., st. miles. '595 1967 FORD GALAXIE 500 4-door. V-8. p.s., p.b., radio, tape deck, power windows! 1965 VOLKSWAGEN Gas heater. 31.000 actual miles. 1972 FORD TON SPORTS CUSTOM 360V-8.A.T..P.S..P.B. Aux. fuel tank, tool box. Sliding window, bumper. 22.000 miles.' 1969 FORD TON 360 V-8. Std. trans. Radio and bumper. Excellent. '1850 TON 360 V-8. Std. trans. Radio, bumper. Red and white. 52.000 miles. 1969 FORD TON 352 V-8. Std. trans. Radio and bumper. 1967 FORD TON 6 cyi. Std, trans. Bumper 1961 IHCVa TON 6 cyl. Std. trans. MILK RIVER FARM SUPPLY Your Friendly FORD-MERCURY DEALER Phone Milk Rivir 647-3737 Fomnost 0. 0. Mmlltr 867-2178 emigrating to Canada. He landed a job at the Calgary Zoo carving animals and painting murals for zoo displays. One day in the early 1930s he went to a movie that left an impact that dominated the next 40 years of his life. The movie was The Lost World and Mr. Kanerva was so entranced by the prehistoric animals he decided to recreate them. For more than five years he plodded through books about dinosaurs, experimented with construction methods and finally reached the conclusion that it could be done. At first Mr. Kanerva had assistance in designing the monsters but he eventually assumed responsibility for the models and their conversion into life-sized replicas. The first was Dinny, a brontosaurus built in 1934 for It took six men more than five weeks to frame Dinny before Mr. Kanerva and his son Bill finished the job. Dinny is 103 feet long and 32 feet high. Bones They started by classifying bones that were excavated and placing them in position. A scale model was designed and built and a suitable loca- tion was selected and staked out to mark the position of the legs and tail. Concrete, footings were poured with reinforcing steel throughout protruding in order to anchor the animal. More steel rods were added' above ground to create the general line of the creature and metal was attached to these rods to give a more definite shape. Concrete was then poured and moulded around the metal to give the correct shape and detail. Facial features and muscular development were added and the specimen was painted. The zoo must repaint the collection at least every two years. Mr. Kanerva built 56 dinosaurs for the park and gained worldwide recognition as a master craftsman in his field. But he remains a modest man. He contends he didn't carve the figures, but simply took away the wood that didn't belong. And then, from somewhere underneath, his animals appeared. Life-size replica dinosaur exhibit at the Calgary zoo. By MASTER CRAFTSMEN Featuring... IMPERIAL BLACK GRANITE Also... BALMORAL RED and OXFORD GREY GRANITE NH Unjisl Stock of Mmoriils in Soulkm Albirti LETHBRIDGE MONUMENTAL LTD 325 8th St. S., LETHBRIDGE 327-3920 We are the experienced consultants in PRE-NEED ARRANGEMENTS ;