EASTBROOK — Students and staff at Cave Hill School welcomed back a new “Mama Bear” to replace the school’s signature statue this past Tuesday.
Hancock chainsaw sawyer Ray Murphy built the original Mama Bear in the early ’90s, but the statue “took a nose dive,” this past summer, Cave Hill Principal Brenda Jordan said. Due to a carpenter ant infestation and a rotting base, the decades-old, wooden statue of a black bear fell down from its position in front of the school one evening this past August.
A group of Cave Hill cheerleaders and their coach discovered the fallen statue after returning to the school from a trip to the Orono Trampoline Park. Jordan was called to the scene to investigate if vandalism was the cause of the statue’s demise. It was quickly discovered that ants were the culprit and that the statue couldn’t be repaired.
Jamie Buteau, a former Waltham resident who has served on the Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) School Board, “took the charge to get donors,” for a new statue, Jordan said.
Sticking with tradition, Buteau, “talked with Ray and made it happen,” Jordan says of securing the original creator of Mama Bear for its replacement.
Donors for the new statue include R.F. Jordan, David DeWitt, McDevitt Services, Corey Cirard, Anah Facts and Figures, Kristie Richard and Jamie Buteau.
This past Tuesday, the new Mama Bear, complete with two additional bear cubs atop her front paws, was standing tall again. The two cubs join another cub, which was part of the original statue that remained spared from the carpenter ants.
“The kids are pretty excited,” says Jordan, who along with her students enjoyed taking pictures in front of the statue to make into thank-you cards to send to donors.
It’s not just the kids who are thrilled. Jordan shares in her students’ excitement.
“It’s been so bare out there,” Jordan said, adding, “no pun intended” with a chuckle. “We’re all back together now.”