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This dummy is one of Peachland's most well-known residents

Clare Austin introduces Manuel, a kick-boxing dummy who has made a name for himself in Peachland.
February 24, 2020 - 5:30 AM

Peachlanders do a double-take every time they walk by Clare and David Austin's Beach Avenue home.

The Austins have a dummy that has stood on their porch for the last five years and it's made a bit of a name for itself.

Their son originally brought the kick-boxing dummy to them and it sat behind the house. When the couple went away for a vacation, their neighbours moved it to the front and dressed it up for New Years, as a joke, she said.

“So they put sparkly lights around its neck and some sunglasses and a little shot glass,” she said, adding she and her husband thought it was hilarious.

The next time they went on vacation, the neighbours dressed it up in a Corona shirt.

“Our neighbour Randy just started calling it Manuel, so its name is Manuel,” she said. “He felt that it needed a name.”

The couple began to dress the mannequin for the seasons and for holidays, buying outfits from Value Village that both frighten and amuse the neighbourhood.

“We dressed him up one year in a grass skirt," Clare said.

A Beach Avenue home is attracting attention because of a Manuel the Manniquan.
A Beach Avenue home is attracting attention because of a Manuel the Manniquan.

“People started stopping and commenting... and they’d say things like ‘Oh my goodness, that thing has scared me all winter,’ because they’d suddenly look up and see a person,” Clare said, adding that people of ages have commented on it.

Some teenage girls have even asked to take pictures with it, she said.

Clare said word of Manuel's presence has even spread beyond Peachland's borders.

Once, while in North Vancouver, a person she met who had a relative in Peachland asked her where her house was in proximity to the house with a mannequin.

“That’s my house,” she told the person. “It’s become kind of a landmark in a way. More and more people comment on it.”

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