The Grand Banquet and Auction was held on the evening of September 27, 2012. It was a remarkable success.
That morning I came to see my Terracotta Warriors together for the first and last time before they were taken to new homes. The hall was quiet, even serene in anticipation of the evening’s celebration. It was a perfect time to reconnect with my Warriors, for that is how I will always remember them. More importantly, they were the Warriors for children with disabilities.
The media release given by BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities demonstrates how a community can rally behind a worthy endeavour. The Terracotta Warriors raised $170,000 for Easter Seals British Columbia. My thirty-four Terracotta Warriors, all which had been on public display since April 2012, were the stars of the evening.
As I said good-bye to my Warriors, I recalled the words of Lao Tzu
“We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.”
― Lao Tzu
This post was to have been the concluding Terracotta Warriors Post. Having chased my Terracotta Warriors for over a five month period, I never expected that there would be a surprise waiting for me when I slipped into the Continental Seafood Restaurant that September morning, when preparations for the banquet were well underway. They were all there – my Terracotta Warriors. I confess, by this time I had become rather proprietary and considered that they were mine. I remembered how I had walked all over Vancouver to track them down. And then I saw him – for the first time.
The Warrior of Love did not make it on the Terracotta Warrior Map. He was beautiful. Artist Joe Mandur, Jr. said, “I wanted to show the human side of the Warriors and the men that wore the armour and went to battle prepared to sacrifice their lives for the Emperor. Their lives were full of violence and aggression but also these Warriors had families and loved one. This Warrior is both a protector of the Empire as well as a protector of family.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
― Lao Tzu
Buried Treasure had the farthest journey to make – Whitehorse, Yukon, which is approximately 1,478 kilometres or 918 miles away from Vancouver. I had to wait until this remarkable Terracotta Warrior came to Vancouver for the Great Banquet and Auction. He stood proudly beside Enlightened Warrior, the other Warrior that I could not photograph in his native surroundings.
Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Emperor of China, had an estate plan long before he took the seat of absolute power. The burial place was the focal point – something to remember his time on earth and confirm his continuing power in the afterlife. His Terracotta Warriors guarded his buried treasure until the time was right for a distant generation to discover the glory of a past civilization.
“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” ― Lao Tzu
Map Position: #33 – Air North, Yukon’s Airline & MacBride Museum of Yukon History
This Terracotta Warrior lived up to his promise of a romantic journey. I found him guarding the gates of the famous Continental Seafood Restaurant known to offer a succulent repast to weary travelers. The aroma of sweet-smelling food tempted me to forget my mission. I stood firm! It was rather exciting taking photos in between diners coming through the doors. I was unable to capture a shot of the Terracotta Warrior’s back, so had to wait until the final day. As Confucius once said, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”
The Son of Heaven was the name bestowed on any sovereign of Imperial China reigning between the founding of the Qin Dynasty in 221 BCE to the fall of Yuan Shaikai’s Empire in 1916. Emperors were revered as the ruler of “All Under Heaven.” Erin Foggoa embodied the title, Son of Heaven, with the Dragon, the symbol of power, strength and luck.
Map Position: #21 – Grand Villa Casino & Delta Burnaby Hotel (Inside)