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This article was published 2/10/2014 (2343 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The latest mural in the West End BIZ’s outdoor gallery honours the inspiration for one of fiction’s greatest spies.
A Man Called Intrepid was unveiled to the public on Oct. 1 on the side of the Winnipeg Branch No. 1 of the Royal Canadian Legion (626 Sargent Ave.). The mural, created by St. Vital-based artist Dave Carty, tells the story of Sir William Stephenson, who was a fighter pilot, entrepreneur, industrialist, inventor, spy, and advisor to Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Stephenson was born and raised in Winnipeg, and he lived on Ingersoll Street in the West End for awhile.
According to a West End BIZ release, Stephenson had also worked with Commander Ian Fleming, and became Fleming’s inspiration and basis for the character James Bond.
Carty incorporated many elements of Stephenson’s life into the mural, including James Bond references. Carty said the design and plan for the mural evolved over a couple of years, but the actual process of creating it took six weeks, which Carty said is pretty long.
"We ran into September, and the weather gets kind of haywire sometimes. Typically, this would have taken — if it was middle of the summer with good weather — three to three-and-a-half weeks," Carty estimated.
Carty explained each of the elements of the mural to The Metro.
"It starts off with (fighter aircraft) Sopwith Camels (which are) indicative of his First World War involvement," Carty said. "He was a pilot, then he was an ace."
Carty said Stephenson flew five different Camels, but only three are shown in the mural.
Carty did a lot of research on Stephenson in order to create the mural to not only look aesthetically pleasing, but also historically correct.
"The colouring of the Camel is specific to the squadron he was in. He was in the 73rd Squadron, and it took me a while to dig that up," Carty said.
Also included in the mural is an Enigma machine, a cipher machine the Nazis used in the Second World War used to write encoded messages. Carty also included a wireless photo transmission device which Stephenson invented.
"It was a precursor to television, so I think with that, he got some incredible royalties that spurred him to get involved with other businesses. He was a millionaire before the age of 30," Carty said.
For a full mural description, visit westendbiz.ca