By Lawrence Powell
Residents in Margaretsville were disheartened Friday morning when they awoke to bold black and blue graffiti sprayed on the wharf and the giant granite bolders piled up to protect the historic structure.
They're offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the spray-bombing.
The picturesque seaside community is now faced with getting rid of the words VOK, Juice, Crip, Crip set, the initials VMS & BLS, Bloomfeild, several graphics including a stylized guitar, and the numerals 902. And they're not sure how to proceed with the job. Most of the writing appears to be connected to gangs and drugs. In all there were more than a dozen separate graffiti marks.
One local resident said she saw flashlights on the wharf at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday evening. She never even thought it was people so disrespectable to the community. Another person saw a vehicle, tires spinning, leave the area just before midnight. It didn't even slow down for the stop sign. The remains of a bonfire were evident Friday and in the ashes were the charred remains of what appeared to be a biology text book and cardboard from a beer case. At the end of the wharf a fisherman jigging for mackerel looked incongruous casting his line with the gaffiti all around him.
VOK, according to Wikipedia, are fictional alien creatures in the Transformer series. But some theorize that VOK could stand for 'Village of Kingston' or is the name of a local band. Area codes (such as 902 in this case) are used as identifiers for many gangs in the United States. The addictive perscription pain medication Dilaudid (hydromorphone) goes by the street name Juice. The Crips was the name of a legendary gang founded in Los Angeles. Bloomfeild may mean Bloomfeild Hills, Michigan and refer to containers in which to hide or stash marijuana. Burrrr could be a reference to rap singer Gucci Mane.
Although the graffiti statements may point to gangs and drugs, locals are thinking those who sprayed the wharf are more like 'wannabe' gang members.
The RCMP were called and looked at the wharf, rocks, and the remains of the fire.
The Margaretsville Community Hall Society met over the weekend and decided it would offer a $200 reward to find out who caused all the damage -- and they're starting a community watch with five or six people committed to keeping an eye on things. Signs will also be posted to let late-night visitors know they're being watched.
"We're not letting this happen again," said Debbie Wrigley, treasurer of the Margaretsville Community Hall Society. "One way or another we'll be keeping a closer eye on things."
The wharf area belongs to the wharf society, and that group falls under the community hall society -- which could, if necessary and reluctantly, close the area off to the public after dark.
The graffiti damage in Margaretsville comes less than a week after vandals trashed washrooms and picnic tables at the park in Port George, just a few kilometres west of Margartseville.