By Martin J. Kidston
by Martin J. Kidston
The Havre Daily News
Wednesday, May 5
Lyndon Pomeroys metal sculptures have gained growing notoriety through the years, but one in particular has taken center stage in a rather sentimental and sometimes philosophical debate on past and present.
If I recall, the sculpture was done in the 1950s, maybe 58 or 59, yes, it was 1959, Pomeroy said from his Billings home. Now, that was my design, you know, the whole unit was my design.
Pomeroys sculpture reads Northern Montana College and bears the schools original symbol. Now, however, NMC only exists in memory. In July 1994, the state university system consolidated schools and changed the names. What was once NMC became Montana State University-Northern. But to some, wrong name or not, no matter the sculpture stays.
I designed it and made a cardboard model of the sculpture, and a man named Conrad Elness fabricated it, Pomeroy recalled. The metal was rolled in Havre at the Great Northern Railroad shop.
After Pomeroy designed the NMC sculpture, and after the metal was rolled, Elness put it together.
Elness, he taught welding and machine shop at the college, and before that, I was a student of his when he taught welding at Havre High School.
Pomeroy said he also designed the brickwork that sits as the sculptures backdrop. Again, he created the cardboard model and Ellness welded the reinforcements.
The wall was designed to repeat the curve of the Max Kuhr Memorial, Pomeroy said. The wall and the sculpture is a piece of the schools history. You see, I taught there for five years, between 1953-58.
As to the controversy surrounding the sculpture, Pomeroy understood that the schools name has changed with the times. But he hopes the sculpture will remain intact.
Its my understanding that the folks in Bozeman want the schools sign to reflect the one they have there and the MSU system, he said. But I hope that rather than destroy the sculpture, or modify it, that its simply moved somewhere else on campus.
Pomeroy has other works throughout Havre. He designed the Hands Across the Border at the Havre depot, which depicts his memories of 1932 and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shaking hands with an American boarder patrol. He also designed the Surveyor with Gurly, which he explained as a transport model of the grandfather who was the city engineer for the city of Helena.