All posts by Shannon Jorgenson

The Octagon – March, 2023

Greetings all,

As we March into Spring we look forward to another exciting season at the Fintry Estate. Surely winter is done with us now and we are looking ahead to brighter (and longer) days.

We are still hopeful that the Regional District of Central Okanagan will assist us with some funding for this coming year but as of now have not officially heard if or when this might happen. As always at this time of year, we continue to search out any grants that we may be eligible for both federally and provincially as we continue to plan our many fund-raising events to be held throughout the year with some new twists and new activities to keep things interesting!

Some of our Board members attended the Heritage Week kick-off at the Kelowna Community Theatre on February 19th and it was great to see so many booths representing the historical associations in the region.

Our latest project through Digital Museums Canada has now launched. It is called “The Fintry Ayrshires: Scottish Cattle in the Far West” and is dedicated to one of our long-time Board members and historian Paul Koroscil, who passed away in 2021. If you go to our website you can access this incredible story through the link on the home page. Many thanks to Shannon Jorgenson and Dan Bruce for all their work putting this together.

While touring the Fintry Manor House your attention will be drawn to these interesting tea caddies we have in the Dining Room, and now Dan Bruce explains how important these were in large stately homes.

This eighteenth century tea caddy is almost identical to one that can be seen in the Dining Room. Made in England of walnut wood, the favoured material for fine cabinetry and furniture, and which was expensive, so that in many cases, a base of another wood was overlaid with a walnut veneer.

As was typical, there are three compartments, two rectangular ones with lids, and a central open circular one in which sits a glass bowl.  The knob handles and the key-hole surround are made from bone in this caddy, but sometimes were of ivory or cut glass.   Black and green teas were kept separately on each side, and mixed in the centre bowl just prior to being used.     

Tea at this time was a valuable commodity, brought from the warehouses of the Chinese merchants by sea via the Cape of Good Hope. It had to be kept perfectly dry, and in containers as air-tight as possible. Once in the hands of the consumer it would have been under lock and key. The lady of the house would have the only key, kept with all the other household keys on her chatelaine. In larger establishments, the responsibility would very likely rest with the Butler.

It would seem that the term ” caddy ” here referring to the small box, is derived from a Malay word, “katy” which was a measure of weight, probably used in the early days of the tea trade in the Orient.

The commercial production of tea today is of course spread worldwide, wherever conditions allow the plant, Camellia sinensis to flourish.   A mild climate with high humidity and an acidic soil is required, so we can be fairly sure that Canada will not be in the tea production business for the foreseeable future.

The Hudson’s Bay Company supplied consumer goods to the traders and settlers across the North. They provided tea in much larger quantities than coffee, which may explain the preference for it in the Bay’s territory, while coffee was more readily available in the American trading area to the south.

                                                 “If Hampton Court these eyes had never seen!  . . .

                                                                Oh, had I rather unadmired remain’d

                                                  In some lone isle, or distant northern land;

                                                               Where the gilt chariot never marks the way,

                                                  Where none learn ombre, none e’er taste Bohea!”

                                                           Alexander Pope, 1688 -1744

                                                          The Rape of the Lock

                            Bohea is a Chinese black tea, popular in England in the mid eighteenth century.

What a delightful piece of history to ruminate over as you sit with your cuppa of Tetley or Red Rose listening to the birds singing, and watching for signs of life in the trees and soil around us.

Til next month….take good care,

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – February, 2023

Greetings Friends,

February! I feel that we are finally over the worst of winter and now we will hopefully glide slowly into Spring….and our friend Okie has confirmed this!! February is that in-between month when we are all tired of dealing with snow and slush and look forward to getting outside and digging in the dirt.

Thankfully there is the Vernon Winter Carnival with a week full of activities to ward off the winter blahs. Check out what’s happening at

Also coming up is Heritage Week, February 20-26th with activities at some of the sites that are open over the winter and also some interesting walking tours.  For a full list of what’s happening check out or The Friends of Fintry will have a table on Sunday, February 19th in the Kelowna Community Theatre from 10-4 pm, so do stop by and see what we are all about. There will be displays by various groups participating in this year’s Heritage events, loads of information and Hot Chocolate!

The Friends of Fintry are busy planning for this year’s events with opening day on Sunday, May 14th (Mother’s Day) when we will be holding our Fintry Spring Fair with vendors, tours, musicians and much, much more.  Other important dates are June 24 and 25th for the Art Show and Strawberry Tea. July 9th for the Fintry Spring Fair, and August 20th for the Fintry Highland Fair. (New event). Stay tuned for more info on these and other exciting happenings at Fintry.

If you would like to volunteer to assist not only with our Fairs but in an ongoing basis, please reach out to myself at 250-309-7868. We can slot you in to an area of your interest.

This just in: The Regional District of Central Okanagan board has apparently reconsidered the Friends of Fintry’s plea to reinstate its funding. It’s not clear how much the RDCO board is willing to contribute to Fintry but it appears the board will restore some funding on a year-to-year basis. We’ve only heard about this development via Castanet. We’re waiting to hear the formal details from the district’s officials. Stay tuned. 

 Here’s the link:

Next time you have a tour of the Fintry Manor House you will be able to answer the questions regarding this hide in the dressing room.  Our Curator Dan Bruce continues to educate us on some of the more interesting artefacts in the Manor House rooms.

Visitors passing through the ‘dressing room’ immediately prior to entering the Trophy Room sometimes have their attention drawn to this small black and brown hide that hangs on the back of the Monk’s Bench.   Our tour guides will ask for suggestions as to what creature the hide was from.  As far as I know only one has come close to a correct identification so far. (They opted for a goat).

The hide is that of a Barbados Black Belly sheep.  This is a breed of sheep that has been on the island of Barbados since the seventeenth century, and is thought to have been brought there from somewhere in West Africa. This is clearly not a wool-bearing breed, and is best described as a hair-sheep, adapted to tropical conditions, and raised primarily for meat as opposed to wool or dairy products.  A certain amount of the underside has been cut away from this hide, so the characteristic black belly is seen only on the outer edge.

The Barbados sheep are much in evidence on the island today, and are carefully farmed as a food source, and as part of the island’s heritage.  In the United States, several farmers are raising them, and there is now a breed called the American Black Belly.  These differ from the original Barbados form in that they are cross-bred with the wild Mouflon (Ovis musimon), native to the Mediterranean island of Corsica. This crossing results in an animal with shaggier hair, (but still not wool) and the rams bearing spectacular curling horns. These are shown in this photo on the right.   The Barbados rams are naturally hornless.  Both these breeds are very prolific, and have good maternal instincts, so are prized as an efficient source of high-quality meat where other forms of livestock would be less suitable.

The hide was donated to the Fintry Estate by the late Dr. Weslie Combs who spent a large part of his working life as an instructor of agriculture and animal husbandry at a number of universities, and upon retiring from his teaching, did consultant work for various governments around the world. Shortly before he passed away, he presented his personal library to Fintry, as well as the sheep hide and other related items.   Dr. Combs was an internationally respected authority on dairy sheep, and his library contains some fascinating, and in some cases obscure publications that he collected on his travels.

The Fintry Estate collection includes a reference library of agricultural and horticultural topics, and Dr. Combs’ donation is an important part of this.”

All for this month,

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – January, 2023

Happy New Year to all our members!

Beneath its snowy mantel cool and white, the Manor House sits waiting for another exciting season full of events.

Photo courtesy of Sue Cseh

The Friends of Fintry Board is busy planning for the 2023 season; we are once again applying for grants for summer students so that we can be open most days of the week. We often hear from people that they have come for a tour of the Manor House only to find us closed, but when we only operate with volunteers it is difficult to staff more than just weekends……fingers crossed that we will be successful this year in our application. That being said, we are constantly looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of running the Manor House, giving tours, assisting with events, as well as new Board members. If you are at all interested in keeping our history and heritage alive please contact myself (Kathy) at 250-309-7868.

BC Heritage Week is always held in February …. this year from February 20-26th and the national and provincial theme is “Always in All Ways”.  It is unfortunate that the Fintry Manor House will still be in the depths of winter but we encourage everyone to participate in events taking place in your community. The Friends of Fintry will be having a table at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Sunday, February 19th from 10-3pm so do come down and say ‘Hi” to our trusty volunteers as we kick off this very important week.  Check out the BC Heritage web page for more information.

 Looking ahead to the upcoming season, these are some dates that we have penned into our 2023   Calendar:               

  • Fintry Manor House Spring Clean-up…………………… Saturday, May 13th (Volunteers needed)
  • Mother’s Day Spring Fair ……………………………………   Sunday, May 14th
  • Art Show & Strawberry Cream Tea ……………………… Saturday & Sunday, June 24th & 25th
  • July Summer Fair …………………………………………………  Sunday, July 9th
  • Highland Fair (new event!) …………………………………   Sunday, August 20th

And now we have a very interesting contribution from our Curator, Dan Bruce:

The late Joan Heriot of Vernon presented a number of items to the Fintry Estate, among them, this small but significant Chinese wine cup. Four inches high, it may once have had a separate base that held it upright but which is now missing.  It is carved to represent a magnolia flower, the petals being       delineated on the outside as well as right down to the base on the inside.  It is perhaps the material of which it has been carved that imparts its very special nature, namely Rhinoceros horn.

There has been a very long tradition of carving this substance in China, going back at least to 500 B.C. at which time it is known that there was a belief that Rhinoceros horn was able to protect the user from the effects of poison, and also ensured long life.

The Chinese had access to Rhinoceros horn from the three species that are native to Asia, and were also very keen to acquire the horns of the two African species in more recent times.     The three Asian species are the Great Indian Rhino, (Rhinoceros unicornis), the Javan Rhino, (Rhinoceros sondaicus), and the Sumatran Rhino, (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).  Today, all these species are in imminent danger of extinction, especially the last two.   Africa is home to the White Rhino, (Ceratotherium simum) and the Black Rhino, (Diceros bicornis). They are considerably larger than the Asian species.

The wine cup shown here is very probably carved from the horn of the Sumatran species, and we believe it to date from the mid Ming Dynasty, circa 1450 or 1460.  Apparently, there was a custom for cups such as this to be created for very high-ranking officials, who would then present them to the emperor on his birthday, especially if the official was wanting to ask a special favour or promotion.  It is therefore a possibility that this cup may have been a gift to the Emperor Chenghua who ruled China from 1465 to 1487.

There is one extensive publication that deals specifically with items such as this, “The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving in China” by Jan Chapman, published by Christie’s Books, 1999.    Having consulted the author and sent a photo with a detailed description of our cup, she agreed with our estimate of date. Estimate, as there is no inscription on this cup.

Rhinoceros horn is one of the few substances that occur in museum collections that actually benefit from being handled.   In fact, Jan Chapman advises an occasional application of pure lanolin, and no extremes of temperature.   We therefore do not keep our specimen on site at Fintry.

Looking forward to Spring…..

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – December, 2022

Greetings all,

The end of another year – a year with some trials and tribulations – but also some good times and it is on these that we must focus as we move ahead. We introduced some new events this past season; a very successful Art Show in June, the Okanagan Symphony Pocket Orchestra and the MacArthur Duo in the summer, all of these in addition to our usual Fairs.  

We also had our challenges this past summer as we were not successful in obtaining summer students and had to rely on our trusty volunteers to keep the Manor House open for tours with limited hours.  We are hopeful that we will be successful this next season as it is time to apply again through Canada Summer Jobs.  The funding from RDCO (which we used to pay our Curator) has dried up so that is another blow to our operations. However, we must stay positive and many great ideas are floating around as we continue planning for this next year. The Board continues to hold monthly meetings via Zoom thus saving board members time and stress on the winter roads.

Dan, our Curator has provided us with another interesting story about one of Fintry’s treasures…..

“The two shields that you see on the bronze medal bear the charges of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, indicating that they encouraged athletic competition among their students, but perhaps not with the same fervour shown by some North American institutions today.

The reverse of this medal is inscribed “One Mile Race, 2nd, J. C. Waters, Jesus Coll.  Won in 4m. 37sc.  1885”.   The medal was presented to the Fintry Estate by Rod and Karen Stuart, and was part of the large and varied collection of items that the Stuarts took care of after leaving Fintry when it became part of the Fairbridge Farm School operations.

We know from various sources that James Waters, as he was known as, as a child and young man was a keen sportsman and athlete, but had less enthusiasm for academic studies. This was by no means an unusual state of affairs, perhaps even the most common situation.  Attending university did however provide a wide range of opportunities for education and advancement, to be taken up and developed at the student’s own discretion.   Friendships were formed that lasted a lifetime in some cases, and were maintained by letter when, during the days of the Empire, former students were employed in various levels of government or trade in widely scattered locations.

At Cambridge, James Waters and Albert Grey probably ‘hung out together’ and later kept in touch resulting in the invitation to James Dun-Waters (adding the ‘Dun’ after receiving his uncle’s legacy) to visit and hunt in Canada, where Albert, (now Earl Grey) had been appointed Governor-General.        They came out west, to British Columbia, hunted, toured around a bit, and saw the delta of Shorts’ Creek, and the rest, as they say, is history. . .”

‘Tis the season….Dan gave out this recipe two years ago, and here it is once again by popular demand.

For those who are thinking about Christmas baking, I hereby give out my Mother’s shortbread recipe.

6 oz. flour

6 oz. butter

3 oz. caster sugar (berry sugar)

2 oz. ground almonds ( 2 oz. cornstarch if necessary)

Crumble butter (cut up into flour using two knives) into even sizes crumbs.

Add sugar and ground almonds. Mix well, and put into an 8″ loose bottomed tin.

Press flat with a knife and put into 350 oven for about 1/2 hour or until pale brown

and crispish at the edges.  When crumbling, keep it cold, do not let it get soft and greasy,

If it does, add some cornstarch.    DO NOT TOUCH IT WITH YOUR HANDS AT ANY TIME.


At this time of year, the Fintry Provincial Park is covered in a snowy mantel; peaceful and serene as the season of dormancy takes over. Plants and trees hold their energy in reserve ready for action come spring….a lot like us humans! Enjoy this special time of year as we gather with friends and family; let’s be thankful for all that we have in this peaceful corner of the world.

Season’s Greetings to all….

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – November, 2022

Greetings Friends,

Another season has come and gone and as we look back on all that we accomplished this year, I feel we did quite well despite having no students to assist with summer tours. Our team of volunteers went above and beyond to ensure that the Manor House was open every weekend for tours and in addition to our Fairs, we were able to hold a couple of extra musical events thanks to federal funding that we were able to secure. Our only regret was not being able to open the barns for tours this year as we were so short staffed. Unfortunately, in the past month vandals have destroyed several of the windows in the Octagonal barn and gained access to both barns. A police report has been filed and we are in discussions with BC Parks as to next steps.  It would be devastating to lose these historic structures.

The Park is now closed for the season and the Manor House winterized. We also have caretakers living upstairs which gives us a sense of security during these long winter months.

As many of you know I was in the UK from mid to September to mid October and while there I arranged to meet with various members of the Fintry Museum Society in Fintry, Scotland. Following is a brief outline of my visit to this historic place where Dun-Waters grew up before moving to England and ultimately to Canada.

Fintry, Scotland is nestled between the Campsie Fells and the Fintry Hills in the heart of Scotland, about an hour’s drive from Glasgow. As we approached the village, (population 600) the views of the rolling hills, where sheep were grazing peacefully, were serene and beautiful. The village itself consists mostly of one main street with many very old buildings (including a pub) that has stood there since 1750. People have lived in Fintry for over 4000 years.

I had arranged to meet at the Fintry Museum with David Smith, who has visited our Fintry. Along with David were local historians Hugh Edmond and Meg Duckworth. Hugh Edmond is a founding member and Treasurer of the Fintry Museum Society, and the Fintry Museum is also named the “Edmond Gallery” as a tribute to him. Hugh has been a Fintry lad all his days and is the last in his family still living here after over 500 years of a continuous Fintry family line.  There is no other known Fintronian, present nor ever in the past, who can make the same claim.

Historian Hugh Edmond MBE, beside present day Fintry pic.

The museum just opened last November after the Sports Club offered ground space for the historical society to build the interpretation centre, (adjoining the Sports Club.)  The community rallied around and in no time £100,000 was raised and the building erected. Their museum contains information boards explaining the history of Fintry, including one board which has our Fintry Manor House, showing the connection with Canada. There are no artifacts yet but this could change as archaeological digs take place and discoveries are made.  The Sports Club has a huge indoor area (the size of a football pitch), where various sports including squash and lawn bowling all take place. For weddings and ceilidhs, a wooden floor is put down over the artificial turf. It is the heart of the community as it also has a small store and restaurant with some of the seating within the museum area.

One of the information boards at the Museum. Fintry Manor House bottom left.

As the weather was changing and rain forecast, (this was Scotland after all), it was decided that we go first to the Mausoleum hidden up in a woody hillside on an estate owned by a rather eccentric gentleman!  This estate was owned in the 18th century by William Dun, J.C. Dun-waters’ father. He built a castle (Craigton House) see above information board…….. with extensive stables but never lived in it, preferring to live closer to the village in a smaller house. The castle has since been demolished and the stables now converted into a beautiful house in which this eccentric gentleman lives with his five cocker spaniels. (He is a hunting and fishing guide and the dogs are all trained to the gun).

 Converted stables

After donning welly boots we trudged along a track, jumped across a ditch and climbed up a wooded and muddy hill (with this eccentric gentleman and his five cocker spaniels)! We eventually came to this surreal little building, and after shouldering open the door were led into the mausoleum where William Dun lies in this massive stone and iron above-ground crypt. We were in almost total darkness as the two tiny windows did not let in much light. There were other small crypts below the floor on either side of his (one with the lid partially moved off). Nothing inside was visible!

The Mausoleum hidden away in the woods

In order to take photos we all had to turn on the flashlights on our phones!

After we trudged down the hill and returned to the Museum, we had lunch. Unfortunately, another member of the Society (who is coming to our Fintry next year) came while we are at the Mausoleum, could not stay and we missed seeing her. After lunch and a photo shoot, Hugh took us to the 800-year-old Fintry Kirk and gravesite. Hugh (83 years old, rings the church bell every Sunday)!

Hugh and David were delighted with the bottle of Okanagan Spirits’ the Laird of Fintry whisky that I presented to them and said once emptied it would be filled with tea and put on display in the Museum!

Inside the church


Note: Bottom says window erected by William Dun’s sisters

In the graveyard outside the church…

I hope you enjoyed this little journey back in time which gives a glimpse into Dun-Waters’ life before he emigrated to Canada.

‘Til next month,

Stay warm, stay safe,

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

The Octagon – October, 2022

Greetings to all !!  As you can see, we have photographic evidence that our esteemed President is on a well-deserved leave in Scotland, having arrived in the UK in time to lay a wreath in Hyde Park on Monday the 19th of September.

When the Kath’s away, the mith will play

On Saturday, September 3rd. we hosted the second part of the Musical Entertainment program, compliments of the Federal Government.  This was a performance by the brother and sister duo, Alex and Emily MacArthur.

The Fintry Fall Fair took place on September 11th, as usual, on the Manor lawn, and once again we were treated to the performances of the Kalamalka Highlanders and the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band. The Fair had considerable competition this year, as it was close to the end of the IPE in Armstrong, and on the same week-end there was a two day fair in Salmon Arm.  In the coming year we will be adjusting our dates so that our last fair of the year will take place before the Labour Day week-end, when a significant change in visitor attendance takes place.

Kudos to BC Parks for the much- improved parking arrangement close to the Barn Complex. Here the big introductory sign created by Jan Waldon has stood for twenty years, and has now been re-located, cleaned and fitted with a new piece of Plexiglas.  Thanks to the assistance of BC Parks Ranger, Isaac Gilbert and Chris Thorsteinsson of Kelowna, the removal and re-installation of the sign was  a smooth move. Thanks also to Jason Satterthwaite and son Aiden for repairing the removable railing section at the Manor that enables part of the veranda to become a stage for music etc. during the Fairs.

On September 20th, our Curator gave the first of the season’s Brown Bag Lecture Series at the Penticton Museum.   ” Queen Nefertiti: Egypt’s Beautiful Enigma”  was illustrated by slides and Fintry’s own Berlin Museum replica of the famous portrait.

Now, a quick peek into the animal world of the Trophy Room.

In the southwest corner of the Trophy Room is the mounted head of a male Muntjac deer, a specimen that always gets attention, particularly of children. They ask about the “deer with fangs”, correctly noticing the apparent contradiction of an herbivore with teeth more often associated with a carnivore.  There are perhaps 121 species of Muntjac deer, all natives of Southeast Asia.  Two of these have only relatively recently been discovered in the forests of Vietnam (1984 and 1997).

Muntjac deer, Fintry collections

The specimen at Fintry is Reeve’s Muntjac, from southern China and Taiwan.  Also known as the “Barking Deer” from the fact that they make loud barking noises when alarmed or when they need to communicate with each other in dark and thickly-forested areas.

There are several other species of deer in the same geographical area that share the unusual feature of very visible fangs.  Biologists are not always forthcoming with confidence when asked to explain the development of these teeth, but there is agreement that the males of these species are aggressively territorial, and use their teeth in battles with rivals.  They have also been seen to use the teeth to strip the bark off small trees to get access to the sap.  Reeve’s Muntjac has been introduced to England and parts of Ireland, where they have become somewhat of a pest.  Adept at fence-crawling, these small deer can penetrate a well-guarded vegetable garden after dark, leaving a shambles to greet the gardener in the morning. 

The Musk Deer is another of the “fanged deer” of Southeast Asia.  The males of that species have a gland that secretes a waxy substance that is used in the making of high quality perfumes and soap, as well as playing a leading role in traditional Chinese medicine.  It is said to be the most expensive animal product in the world, with a quoted price in 1985 of $45,000 per Kg.  It is surprising that the Musk Deer is still not extinct. 

Dan Bruce, Curator

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – September, 2022

Greetings all….

As we cruise through the last vestiges of summer we have been fortunate that despite the ongoing heat, forest fires have not disrupted our lives this year. However, with not having received our usual grant for summer students we regrettably have only been able to be open weekends with our volunteers taking turns giving the Manor House tours.

I hope many of you were able to enjoy the Okanagan Symphony Pocket Orchestra when they played on the Manor House deck at the beginning of August. Over 200 people came out and enjoyed two hours of incredible music. Lawn chairs and blankets were spread out all around the perimeter of the lawn as people grabbed every little piece of shade available.  We are delighted to be able to hold a second musical afternoon at Fintry to be held on the lawn of the Manor House on Saturday, September 3rd between 4 and 6 pm. This free event features the beautiful voice of Emily MacArthur with her brother Alex, on keyboard. This duo entertained us during our Fintry Fusion Art Show in June and their renditions of “Hallelujah” and “Cabaret” were an absolute delight. They play everything from Beethoven to Broadway. So, come on down, bring a blanket or a lawn-chair and a picnic and prepare to be transported to another world with their delightful melodies. Both these events courtesy of the Government of Canada.

On Sunday September 11th we will be holding our Fintry Fall Fair on the grounds of the Manor House. Once again, lots of vendors, the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band and the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band are in the lineup to entertain you. Food trucks, Ice cream, face painting, 50/50 draws and kids’ activities all ensure a jam-packed day of entertainment.

At the beginning of August, the Lee family through the Ben Lee Legacy Fund (Central Okanagan Foundation) donated $5000 to the Friends of Fintry. For those who have visited the Manor House you will be familiar with the room where we show our introductory video and that has Ben Lee’s picture on the wall. Ben Lee was an incredible man, committed to preserving culture and instrumental in Fintry becoming a Provincial Park. We are very grateful for this donation. With us not obtaining student grants etc. it will certainly be put to good use.

Lee family with Dan and Kathy

Following is another little piece of history which Dan Bruce has unearthed (courtesy of Rod Stuart) and is rather interesting…….

“Last month I made a passing reference to the postal service that kept Fintry in touch with the world before the days of hand-held ‘reality’ and the internet. We have an empty envelope in the collection that came through that system.

The heavy brown paper envelope has an embossed stamp on the back flap, indicating that it was from the stationery supplies of the Royal Bank of Scotland.   The letter, addressed to Miss M. C. Stuart, Fintry, Okanagan Landing, British Columbia, Canada was sent by registered mail from London.  The registration stamp is intact, and the blue crayon cross-lines on front and back emphasize the point.    The actual postage stamp(s) have been removed long ago, taking the postmark date of mailing with them.   The back bears two additional and identical registration postmarks, dated 28th May, 1940, but the location at which those were applied is illegible in both cases.     Other postmarks are clear however, and we can backtrack this item to Winnipeg, on June 12th, 1940, then to Vernon on June 14th, where it was stamped as Duty Free by Vernon Customs.    The “KEL & SIC RPO mark was presumably added upon its arrival in Vernon, in care of the CPR.

The Royal Bank of Scotland sealed the envelope with three applications of the traditional red sealing wax, each one bearing the seal impression of the Bank’s London office.    At that time, the RBS was at number 3 Bishopsgate, London EC2, a site now occupied, it seems, by a branch of the HSBC.

(Also, on Bishopsgate is the church of St. Helen, where one can see the tomb brass set up in 1535 of which we have a rubbing, on the east wall in the Trophy Room. Sadly, the lady’s name has been lost.)

At this point, one can only speculate on what the contents of the envelope were, but given the 1940 date, perhaps something connected with James Dun-Waters will might be a reasonable guess.   The envelope survives thanks to the care that Rod and Karen Stuart took to keep family papers together, and bring them back to add to the Fintry collections.”

Don’t forget two important dates coming up, Saturday, September 3rd from 4-6 on the Manor House grounds….The MacArthur Duo and on Sunday, September 11th  10-4pm……the Fintry Fall Fair.

Hope to see you all there!

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

The Octagon – August, 2022

Greetings all….

July has been a very busy month! We held our Fintry Summer Fair on July 10th, where we had a record 26 vendors, wonderful musicians entertaining us all day long, and although attendance was down due to so many other events that same weekend, everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Our next event is this Saturday, August 6th from 4-6 pm, when the Okanagan Symphony Pocket Orchestra will be playing on the Manor House deck. The audience is invited to bring a lawn chair and picnic and listen to some wonderful music. Funding for this event courtesy of the Government of Canada.

On Sunday, September 11th we will be holding our Fintry Fall Fair on the grounds of the Manor House so mark your calendars. It is promising to be another great day with vendors, the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band and so much more!

This past week we were privileged to be a stopping place for the Military Police National Motorcycle Relay. They travel every year from coast to coast, travelling over 10,000 kms with stops along the way raising money for blind children. The group was delighted to have a tour of the Manor House and a swim in the lake….. because as you can imagine with all their gear in this heat, they were rather warm!

Also last week we were honoured to have a lady and her husband visit the Manor House on a trip down memory lane. Now living in California, this couple spent part of their honeymoon at the Manor House in 1955 and had the pictures to prove it! It was a lovely visit and we were delighted to give them a special tour while they reminisced about some of the features of the house which brought back many happy memories.

Curator Dan has been delving into some interesting history….

“Many of our visitors have had the impression that Fintry was a very remote and isolated place when the Dun-Waters lived here. From the Manor House, the lake is visible, but only from the dining room bay window, and almost all our guests arrive by road, so the isolation idea is not surprising.   However, the fact is that the lake was essentially the highway of the Valley in earlier times, the sternwheeler ships providing efficient and even luxurious transport.    The interconnection with the railway system opened easy access to and from Fintry for goods and passengers.

              The outside world doubtless was of continuing interest to the Dun-Waters and other residents of the Estate.  Newspapers were available, and we know that the ” Illustrated London News”. “Punch”, and the “National Geographic” were subscribed to, and these, over and above personal correspondence would have kept the Estate abreast of the times.

               The world went on beyond the Valley, and it is interesting to consider what was happening elsewhere while the daily chores of the Fintry Estate were being attended to.     In a previous Octagon issue, we gave a list of events with dates that were contemporary with the Dun-Waters era at Fintry.     

Recently I came across a biography of a very remarkable man who was a contemporary of James Dun-Waters (1864 – 1939).

              Rufus Daniel Isaacs (1860-1935) was born to Jewish parents in the east end of London. His father was a fruit merchant, and a successful one at that.    Of his two sons, Rufus was the one less easily managed, one might even say a young hooligan.    He left school at fourteen, and tried several avenues for a career, but found difficulty in staying with any one of them.   He had an episode of life at sea, and endured the harsh treatment of those junior members of merchant crews.  His ship left Calcutta to return to England after an extensive voyage, but nobody in India paid any attention to the departure of the lowly Rufus in 1877.    On his return however, in 1921, all eyes and ears turned towards Rufus as thirty-one guns fired a salute to him as the newly arriving Viceroy. In 1904 he became a Liberal Member of Parliament for Reading, (rhymes with ‘wedding’).    In 1910 he was knighted, and made Solicitor General. 

Rufus Isaac dressed in his Vice-regal robes in India
Rufus Isaac and second wife Stella

Six months later he was promoted as Attorney General.  He had taken his law studies seriously, and he presided at the trial of the murderer, Frederick Seddon, and the suffragette, Emily Pankhurst. He also sat on the Board of Inquiry into the “Titanic” disaster.

He was appointed to the Privy Council in 1911, yet his involvement with the Marconi Company shares scandal did not derail his career, though he did suffer some adverse publicity over what some accused him of, insider trading, but another promotion came his way: Lord Chief Justice of England.

1918 saw him in the United States as Special Envoy and British Ambassador, charged with gaining the financial support of the United States for the Allies, and this while still in office as Lord Chief Justice.     In 1921, perhaps while our James Dun-Waters was looking at hunting prospects in Alaska, Rufus Isaacs became Viceroy of India, a post also once held by Lord Willingdon, (portrait in the Manor House).      On his return to England in 1926 he became the only commoner since the Duke of Wellington to be elevated to a Marquisate, and the only Jew ever to have held such a position.

            From an unruly childhood with little formal education, Rufus Isaacs did well:  First Marquess of Reading, GCB, GCSI, GCVO, PC, with five peerages, five knighthoods, the Belgian Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and recipient of Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Toronto, Calcutta, Cambridge and Oxford.

            Readers who recall the Octagon issue for March 2020, will be aware of the photograph in the Red Room of the John Hoppner painting of Richard Humphreys, the bare-knuckle boxer. The painting is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, but at one time belonged to Dun-Waters, and hung at Fintry.   It was the Jewish boxer, Daniel Mendoza that defeated Humphreys so decisively that it ended Humphreys’ career.   Rufus Daniel Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading Etc. Etc.  was Daniel Mendoza’s great nephew.

Simon Rufus Isaacs is the 4th Marquess of Reading, and is very much alive.

Don’t forget to come listen to some wonderful music from the Okanagan Symphony Pocket Orchestra this coming Saturday (August 6, from 4-6pm) on the front lawn of the Manor House.

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – July, 2022


Summer has finally come to the Okanagan, and with it an influx of visitors to the area, many campers to the Fintry Provincial Park and loads of people touring the Manor House. Unfortunately, because we did not receive any funding from the Federal government through Canada Summer Jobs, we are unable to hire students to assist with tours and programming. We are therefore reaching out to anyone who would like to learn the history of the Fintry Estate and assist with giving tours throughout the summer. Our meagre supply of volunteers is struggling to keep the doors open on weekends, but come July we need to be open during the week as well. If anyone is interested helping out even one day a week, please contact me for more information at 250-309-7868.

On June 18/19 we held our first annual Fintry Fusion Art Show and what a resounding success it was! Ten local artists displayed their work throughout the Manor House; incredible musicians played their renditions on the deck and, judging by the amount of scones we baked, everyone seemed to love their Strawberry Cream Tea! The artists loved the location and have asked for this to become an annual event.

Our next big event is on Sunday July 10th, when we hold our Fintry Summer Fair on the front lawn of the Manor House. The Vernon Girls Trumpet Band will be strutting their stuff and 11 a.m. and the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band at noon, with other musicians playing throughout the day. Many vendors have already booked their space so bring your lawn chairs and plan for another fun day at Fintry. 

Saturday, July 16th at 10 a.m. we will be holding our Annual General Meeting at the Manor House. We invite all members to attend this very important meeting. If your membership has lapsed, renewals are available at the front desk as you come in. We still have room on the Board for new members, so do give this some consideration if you would like to join. Most of our meetings are now by Zoom making them so much easier for everyone to attend.

Dan Bruce now has a few words to say about a recent addition to the Manor House collection……

 Almost a year ago, our August 2021 Octagon had a feature about the Bighorn Sheep now frequently seen by travelers along Westside Road.    We had borrowed the bronze sculpture of two rams, by Werner Plangg from the Kelowna Museum, and brought the “Chris Oakes’ ram” skull out of the Trophy Room to draw visitors’ attention to the presence of the sheep and their history in this area.

 After their re-introduction and several years residence on the west side of the lake, it is gratifying to say that (as far as I know) there have been no bad experiences on the Westside Road, either for the sheep or motorists. A few sharp intakes of breath perhaps, but no worse.    These sheep also seem to have been spared the outbreaks of any of the diseases that have taken a toll of wild sheep populations in other parts of the province.

In June 2022, the Fintry Estate hosted what might well become the first annual art show and sale.   Very well attended in spite of the weather, ten local artists and their works, combined with Kathy Drew’s cream scones brought out the crowds.   Wendy Hart Penner exhibited a charcoal drawing of a Bighorn Ram, which was purchased by the Fintry Estate, as part of the permanent collection. This not only gave us the opportunity to act as the patron of local artistic talent, but celebrates the return of our faunal neighbors as the artist’s own words explain.     ” I encountered a herd of Mountain Sheep on Westside Road and quickly grabbed my camera to photograph them. The herd was peacefully resting on a slope just above Westside Road about 700 metres southwest of the Fintry Estate. They were very photogenic, so I crept up to them, and when I got too close for his comfort, the Ram of the herd struck the best ‘get-back stare’ pose ”     Wendy Hart Penner.

Ram Study 2018-10-30 ©WMHartPenner

The newly acquired drawing now hangs in the Ben Lee Room, I am sure, with the complete approval of James Dun-Waters.

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – June, 2022


It is hard to believe that we are almost half-way through this year already and we are holding our collective breath that we have a more “normal” season with no heat domes, evacuations, or pandemics.

We were very disappointed to hear that we will not be getting any funding this year from the Federal government through Canada Summer Jobs, and consequently are unable to hire students to assist with tours and programming. We are therefore reaching out to anyone who would like to learn the history of the Fintry Estate and assist with giving tours throughout the summer. Our meagre supply of volunteers is struggling to keep the doors open on weekends, but come July we need to be open during the week as well. If anyone is interested helping out even one day a week, please contact me for more information at 250-309-7868.

On May 8th we held our annual Spring Fintry Fair and were delighted with the attendance. A big thank you to all our volunteers and Board Members who made the day a huge success. We had a great variety of vendors and musicians, also the Kalamalka Pipe Band and Kilt 45 who entertained us with some resounding renditions.

Our next event is the Fintry Fusion Art Show to be held on June 18/19 (10:00 a.m. – 4 :00 pm both days) with art from about 10 local artists displayed (and for sale) throughout the Manor House. The artists will be on hand and there will be demonstrations as well as live music……..and a strawberry cream tea available!

Another couple of important dates to mark on your calendars is Sunday, July 10th when we will be holding our Summer Fair on the lawn of the Manor House and Saturday, July 16th when we will be holding our Annual General Meeting at the Manor House.

Our Curator, Dan Bruce has an interesting and unusual addition to our collection that he would like to talk about….

The nights are cool, and I’m a fool, 

Each star’s a pool of water . . .

Iced water seldom makes an appearance in English households.  However, after the Dun-Waters had settled and experienced an Okanagan summer, the North American penchant for cool water would most likely have been accepted readily.

Bob Nolan was a Canadian songwriter who essentially became an American actor, singer and author. A founding member of The Sons of The Pioneers, he was born in Winnipeg, in 1908.   Of the dozens of songs he wrote, “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” and “Cool Water” were certainly the best known.  “Cool Water”, written in 1936 was made world famous by Marty Robbins, and earned Nolan a posthumous award in the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2005.  Nolan died in California in 1980.

Cool water may well have been available at Fintry, as running water was laid on to all the houses and barns. An ice-house and a root-cellar were created in the barn area for a summertime supply.

The silver plated, porcelain lined tilting water jug with matching cup is a very recent acquisition, and another reason for our gratitude to Mark Taylor, of Taylor’s Antiques, Kelowna.   A product of the Reed and Barton Company of Taunton, Massachusetts, this was made around 1877. It is in fine condition, complete with the removable porcelain liner.     Certainly nothing like it would have been found in any of the English or Scottish houses in the Dun-Waters’ experience, so one can imagine some initial novelty in adding a little water to a glass of “Laird of Fintry”.  Toward the end of an evening, did any guest feel perky enough to call out, from the empty water jug ” Hey, Jamie, the waters done?”

We look forward to seeing you at the Fintry Fusion Art Show on June 18 and 19th. Come and see what talented artists we have right here in the Okanagan!

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park