Local kayaker wins carved totem

<p>John Malgesini of Hermiston sits with a totem, carved by Jake MacDougall of the Namgis First Nation. Malgesini won the carving during the Alert Bay 360, a paddling event held in Cormorant Island, British Columbia.</p>

John Malgesini recently returned from a trip to Vancouver Island in British Columbia with some extra cargo in his truck. The Hermiston man won a carved totem during the Alert Bay 360, a paddling event on Cormorant Island, British Columbia.

Malgesini, along with his sister, Caren Malgesini of Everett, Wash., and former co-worker Ron Sehman of Port Hardy, British Columbia, were among 69 participants in the event, in which paddlers navigated around the 11-kilometer island. The trio all used kayaks, with Sehman finishing in 1 hour 25 minutes, Malgesini was two minutes behind that and his sister finished in 1 hour 33 minutes.

The totem was carved by Jake MacDougall of the Namgis First Nation. He died in January 2010. The piece represents supernatural beings from the Namgis First Nation culture, including the double-headed serpent, located on the front base, and a supernatural relative of the Thunderbird at the head of the totem.

After receiving the totem, Malgesini said many people stopped to tell him stories about the artist.

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