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EasterTotemGoesUp384

Ole Sullivan, left, and Paul Fison, right, remove wrapping protecting a 17-foot fiberglass replica of the Easter totem pole Saturday carved by Rev. David Fison in front of the United Methodist Church. The original pole, carved out of cedar by the Rev. Fison, an adopted member of the Killer Whale Clan, is currently on display in the sanctuary of St. John United Methodist Church in Anchorage. Fison and his wife Aleen came to Alaska as United Methodist missionaries in 1960. He served as pastor of the Methodist church in Ketchikan from 1961-1966 and as interim pastor for the Duncan Memorial Church in 1965 in Metlakatla. Fison fell in love with native culture and the totem poles in the area. He chose to honor them through his carvings. He also has carved a Chritsmas totem pole. He became friends with Nathan Jackson in the 1970’s, who gave him a hook knife for carving. Fison’s Easter pole depicts, in 10 stages, the final days, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as interpreted through Tsimshian tradition. Fison asked Jackson to bless the pole Saturday. Afterwards Rev. Fison told the story of his pole. Local members of the church painted the replica, which is attached to the church on the Main Street side. The churches current pastors, Terence and Evelyn Erbele were also by the pole during the dedication attended by members of the church and interested bystanders. Staff photo by Hall Anderson