The Octagon April 2020

Greetings Friends:

Well, here we are midst one of the most catastrophic times our world has ever seen…..it feels as if we are living in a scary movie with no ending. While the world is spinning out of control… we are safe and the only thing we can control are our own actions by staying home, not mingling with others even if they appear to be healthy and washing your hands!

When I wrote the last Octagon my bags were packed and I was anticipating a trip to see family in the UK, but two days before I was due to fly I could see the writing on the wall and cancelled everything.  So glad I did!

Like everything else around us, all Fintry meetings, activities etc., including our annual May Fair, have been put on hold but we are hopeful that we can salvage some of our summer if things get back to normal by July.

Now for some uplifting news…..huge congratulations to Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery (OSCD) for their spectacular collection of awards in the recent trade show in Austria. Not only did “The Laird” take a Double Gold among all the other triumphs, but OSCD made the news in spite of the media’s concentration on another topic.     James Cameron would have a bit more than a smile on his face now!

Still on the subject of alcohol, Dan Bruce our Curator, has sent me some info on another product from Okanagan Spirits…….Absinthe.

The “Oxford” defines “taboo” as something set apart or prohibited, so one might wonder why Okanagan Spirits chose that word (one of the few in the English language that is taken from the native language of Tonga) as the name for their Absinthe product.    The name evokes some of the mystique that surrounds this particular drink which was most fashionable in France and Switzerland in the mid nineteenth century. It became almost a cult, and was blamed, without any really valid reason for a great increase in alcoholism in continental Europe at that time.   England had no cause to point a finger however, as London had had its own devastating “love affair” with gin in the preceding century.

Such was the craze that developed for absinthe that the authorities finally banned its production and use at the end of the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States.

It was said that those who overindulged would have visions that often included the “Green Fairy”, a fair damsel, dressed in green, the colour of the drink when mixed with ice cold water. Beautiful, but with a decided tendency to lead astray, the Green Fairy may be represented by the Art Nouveau porcelain figure in the dining room at Fintry. . . her skirt shaped to hold the sugar cubes that some drinkers liked to pour their absinthe over.

Wormwood is a Mediterranean herb, Artemisia absinthinum, which is used in the production of absinthe, although the dominant flavour is that of anise.  Other species of Artemisia are found locally, the familiar sagebrush of the dry areas of the BC interior. They are vastly different from culinary sage and it takes a skillful distiller to incorporate Artemisia into something palatable.   I would suspect that absinthe was probably not used at Fintry, especially given the availability of the original Laird of Fintry scotch.     Some well- known characters that did commune with the Green Fairy were Picasso, Verlaine, Manet, Baudelaire, Degas, Oscar Wilde, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Edgar Allen Poe, to name a few.     Visit Okanagan Spirits either in Kelowna or Vernon when opportunity presents and have a taste, a sip of history indeed.

The birds are still singing, the spring flowers are blooming and new life is emerging all around us. Try to keep your spirits up, stay healthy, stay safe and we will get through this.

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon March 2020

Greetings Friends:

I feel that we have turned the corner and Spring is on the horizon. The garden is coming back to life with crocuses and tulips poking through the leaf mulch and I have even found some blooming snowdrops!

As we “March” into this new season, plans are afoot for live-in caretakers, for students to assist with tours and for some new events at the Manor House, as well as a wedding in April!  We are excited to get back into the Manor House after this long period of hibernation and are planning the first Spring Clean on Friday, April 17th. Remember, we are always looking for volunteers!

The Friends of Fintry had a table at the Heritage Week kick-off in the Kelowna Community Theatre and it was a most successful day with many people visiting and sharing different aspects of our heritage. Thanks goes out to Shannon, Dan and Gwendy for manning the Fintry table and for imparting their Fintry knowledge to the visitors.

Dan Bruce our Curator, would like to share some interesting facts about a picture that we often get asked about during tours of the Manor House………

“There is no evidence that James Dun-Waters was particularly interested in boxing, but there is an interesting link between Fintry and the early history of the sport.    In the “Red Room” there hangs a small photographic reproduction of a portrait of the bare-knuckle boxer, Richard Humphreys. In 1787, Humphreys posed, (one could not say ‘sat’) for the then fashionable artist, John Hoppner, a painting done perhaps as a result of his widely admired prowess in the ring.   The painting had a number of owners in England before being bought by James Dun-Waters in 1888.  

Upon his removal to Canada, the picture accompanied all the other household items and was hung in the Fintry Manor House.  One of the many items that was rescued during the 1924 fire, the Hoppner was taken into Kelowna when Margaret, the second Mrs. Dun-Waters moved after James’ death.   In 1951, Margaret put the painting up for sale, and it was bought without hesitation by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.   An article in “Country Life” magazine enabled me to discover what had happened to it, a “good news/bad news “ situation. Good in that we know where it is, and that it is being well cared for, bad in that we will never see its return to Fintry.  I made contact with the Met. and asked about getting a photo of the piece.  Their response was that policy was not to supply images for permanent exhibit, but when I reminded them of the history of the painting, they immediately agreed, and sent a digital image with their compliments.

Richard Humphreys rose to fame as a prize-fighter in England, and perhaps his career would have been longer had he not challenged Daniel Mendoza, the young Jewish boxing prodigy from the East End of London.   They fought on a number of occasions, but September 27th, 1790 was the day on which Dan Mendoza beat Humphreys into a state of semi-consciousness, his final fight.

Boxing was chiefly the business of marginal society at that time, with many Jewish and Gypsy people involved.   The Jewish community of London were ecstatic over Mendoza’s whole career, and especially his victory over Richard Humphreys, a feat that earned him the public approbation of the Price Regent, and King George III.”

Richard Humphreys, the Boxer
John Hoppner

Now when you look at this picture hanging in the Red Room at the Fintry Manor House you will appreciate a little more of the history on how it arrived there!


In a few weeks I will be going to Scotland to visit my Scottish relatives and while there, will be taking a road trip to meet with the Museum people in Fintry, Scotland. Some of the Scottish Fintry Museum committee have visited “our” Fintry so it will be most interesting to see what info they have on Dun-Waters as he owned a large estate in Fintry before moving to Canada at the beginning of the century.

‘til next time…..

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – February 2020

I hope you had a happy Palindrome Day yesterday! …… 02/02/2020 (A palindrome being a word or sequence that reads the same backward as forward).

Not only was it a Palindrome Day but it was also Groundhog Day. Are we in for an early Spring? That depends on which groundhog you rely on! I just know that I saw my shadow yesterday and if the marmots at Fintry emerged from their cozy dens I’ll bet they saw their shadows as well, so it sounds like we have six more weeks of winter to contend with!

Here’s an event to get you out of the winter doldrums. BC Heritage Week is always held in February …. this year from February 17 to 23rd and the national and provincial theme is “Bringing the Past into the Future”.  It is unfortunate that the Fintry Manor House is still in the depths of winter but we encourage everyone to participate in events taking place in your community. The Central Okanagan Heritage Society is holding its “Kickoff” at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Monday, February 17th from 11a.m. to 3p.m. with music, a scavenger hunt, heritage displays and hot drinks! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our local heritage…and it’s free! For a full list of events, visit the Heritage Week in the Central Okanagan Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/heritageweekokanagan.

We usually choose an historic item from the collection as a short feature for the newsletter, but this time we have a newer piece. This picture shows an up-to-the-minute meat cutter’s glove. This was given to us by Richard Konechny of Calgary who was unable to continue using it due to a minor bit of damage. It is of interest as one of the rare modern uses of the ancient idea of chain mail armour. WCB regulations require meat cutters to use these gloves for obvious reasons while at work. Viking warriors were not slow to appreciate the protection that this kind of armour afforded and indeed chain mail armour has been in continuous use in parts of West Africa right up to modern times.

The Viking re-enactors at the Fintry Fairs will be delighted to let you examine the details of the armour that they have made and use in their performances.

Following is a note by Dr. David Ensing who has been reporting on the presence of “garlic mustard”, a noxious weed that has been found in some areas of the Fintry Delta.

In collaboration with the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are conducting research on the invasive alien plant , garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) in Fintry Provincial Park. Garlic mustard is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, but relatively limited in western North America, with a few restricted populations known from BC. One of these populations is in and around Fintry Provincial Park. Garlic Mustard is an aggressive invader that may disrupt other species. Notably it releases chemicals from its roots into the soil that inhibit important associations between native plant species and beneficial fungi (mycorrhizae). This strategy allows garlic mustard to colonise diverse habitats and exclude native plant species from growing in those locations. Given its widespread distribution in North America, herbicides and mechanical means of control were deemed both impractical and unsuitable. As a result, a biological control programme was initiated. Recently, the root crown mining weevil, Ceutorhynchus scrobicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) was approved for release by both the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture, who have jurisdiction in Canada and USA respectively. This weevil only attacks garlic mustard in the wild and there are no close relatives or other species that it can successfully feed and develop on in North America. Our research in Fintry Provincial Park involves careful monitoring of the population for abundance and density of mature and juvenile plants and the incidence of any feeding or disease on the plants. We have installed environmental monitoring equipment (temperature, relative humidity) and will compare our data with monitoring efforts in populations across the world via the Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey (https://garlicmustard.wordpress.com/). Our research will clarify what facilitates invasion and control of this problematic species in Canada.

For more information, please contact:

David Ensing, PhDBiology Study Leader – Weed Biocontrol
Summerland Research and Development Centre,

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

[email protected] | Tel: (250) 404-3341 | Cell: (250) 859-0749

The Friends of Fintry Board is busy planning for the 2020 season; we are 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. That being said, we are constantly looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of running the Manor House, the events etc., as well as new Board members. If you are at all interested in helping to keep our history and heritage alive, please contact myself (Kathy) at 250-309-7868 or Dan Bruce at 250-766-2081 for more info.

‘Til next month….

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – January 2020

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

Happy New Year to all,

As we step into this new year with 2020 vision, we are excited to be embarking on some great new ideas, fun events and hopefully, if our federal grant application is successful, some summer students to help us with it all.

At this time of year, we have to submit our plans and ideas for the coming year to BC Parks who will then hopefully grant us our Annual Operating Permit. We are putting our creative heads together to try and come up with some new revenue sources for the Friends and some new experiences for our members and visitors to this historic site.

Thanks to Shannon our Business Manager, the Fintry website is in the process of being revamped with several new pull-down menus giving a better overview of all that we offer. It is still a work in progress so check back periodically to see the new developments. www.fintry.ca

While giving tours of the Manor House, there is always great interest and a few chuckles from our visitors when they see this framed print.  Dan Bruce, our Curator explains it all quite eloquently as follows,

“Late for School” is the title of a chromolithograph that hangs in the Ben Lee Room, facing the portrait of Ben himself.   The artist was Arthur J. Elsley   ( 1860 – 1952). a Londoner who was well known for his idealised pictures often of children in rural settings with domestic animals and pets included.  These could be described as “”chocolate box art”, and indeed he produced many images for commercial use. Sunlight Soap and Peek Frean’s biscuits being among his customers.  These sentimental pictures were extremely popular in late Victorian and Edwardian times.

“Late for School” however has a slightly darker tone.  It is a classic example of a picture that presents a set of circumstances to the viewer, who may then imagine the course of action to that point, and then speculate on the outcome.    Here we see a traditional fox hunt in progress, but at a point where it is going to go so wrong. The fox, crafty creature, has taken control and opted for a variation of the “Samson solution”. By choosing to divert through the open door of the school, he will have brought the house down upon his enemies.  The fox is shown exiting the scene R, very likely having noted a conveniently open window through which he will return to his interrupted business.  The hounds, closely followed by the mounted hunters will be left to face the fury of the school teacher, which will not be long in coming. Several hounds are already among the pupils, and furniture is going down.  Doubtless the whole community will be aware of the mayhem at school that day, and one can imagine a satisfied fox looking back on an escape well managed.

Arthur Elsley was a contemporary of James Dun-Waters, who might well have seen some of his pictures published in the Illustrated London News and other journals. Perhaps the Glasgow Herald included some.  He was awarded a silver medal for works shown at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1891.  “Late for School” was painted in 1898, and the chromolithograph at Fintry was printed by Orford Smith Ltd. of St. Albans, just north of London.  Our picture was purchased from Blast from the Past Antiques of Vernon. At some point it had been spattered with a cream coloured house paint, and had suffered slight water damage. This was all corrected after a short session on the conservation table, and the framing expertise of Picture Perfect in Kelowna.

So there you have it! Next time you take a tour of the Manor House take a good look at the action in this incredible picture.

On that note I will close and wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The December Octagon

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

Mother Nature has been kind to us this year with a very pleasant November.  However, just one step outside and one realizes that yes, it is winter….but only 3 more weeks until the days start to get longer again!

The Friends of Fintry held their Annual Volunteer Appreciation night in conjunction with the date of J.C. Dun-Waters birthday, (November 28th) at Okanagan Spirits here in Vernon. It was a great evening and we were so happy to mix and mingle with many of our trusty volunteers and chat about all things Fintry.

Now that we have our Business Manager (Shannon Jorgenson) in place we have been brainstorming some special events to hold at the Manor House next season thus increasing awareness of this jewel in our very own backyard. Stay tuned and watch the website for announcements early in the spring.

The planning never stops……and we are excited to be able to offer some really great programs to the schoolchildren  and senior’s groups next year. We have loads of historical photographs from the Dun-Waters’ era which are being digitized and as we now have a digital projector and screen we will be able to show these to the various interested groups as well as having them up on our website.

And now some interesting facts from our Curator, Dan Bruce……..

Fintry’s one hundredth anniversary took place on May 10th, 2009. The date was chosen based on the autographed portrait of Albert, Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada who invited his friend, James Dun-Waters from Cambridge University days to move from the UK to Canada. The autograph reads “Grey, in memory of May 10th 1909”.  We have not been able to ascertain exactly what took place on that day, but it might have involved hunting and whisky. (His Excellency was not in Ottawa on that date).

We celebrated anyway by planting a tree near the Labyrinth, and a London Plane was selected. Two guests of honour were invited to plant the tree, the late Alderman Ben Lee from Kelowna, and Mark Flanagan, Supervisor of the gardens at the Royal Estate at Windsor Castle, who came to Fintry for this occasion.

Platanus  x hispanica, the London Plane, is a very large tree frequently planted in urban settings as it withstands atmospheric pollution very well, not that that is a problem at Fintry.  The tree is perhaps an accidental hybrid that was first recorded at Vauxhall Gardens in London. (Some of you will recall that there is a coloured engraving of Vauxhall Gardens hanging in the living room, the gift of Jennifer Hindle)   The tree was first formally described by the Scottish botanist, William Aiton in 1789, but it had been noticed by John Tradescant the Younger in the mid 17th Century.  ( The dark red rose by the front door steps of the Manor is a David Austin creation, named “Tradescant “ in his honour).

 A little known fact is that our now defunct one cent coin was supposed to feature the Maple Leaf on the reverse side. Apparently, in 1937 G. E. Kruger-Gray asked for a maple twig to use as a model for the design drawing, but was given a plane twig in error. Maple leaves are all opposite, whereas plane leaves are alternate. Botanical expertise was not a requirement at the Mint, so the mistake was not noticed.

There are a number of London Plane trees around the Okanagan, and they can also be found in many of the world’s large cities. In London itself there are several specimens now close to or over 100 ft. high. Doubtless James Dun-Waters saw them as young plants on his various visits to the city.

As this is the last Octagon for 2019, I would like to wish you all the very best of the season and hopefully you will be able to partake in one or more of the many activities planned for Fintry in 2020. Watch our website: www.fintry.ca for information regarding upcoming events.

Stay warm…….                                                                                                                     

Kathy Drew, President

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The November Octagon

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – November 2019  

Mother Nature has really been showing off her spectacular golden coat this fall and on one of my last visits along Westside road to the Fintry Manor House, I was overawed by the stunning golden and russet views around every corner. What a beautiful part of the country we live in.

We have now closed the doors for the last time this year on the Ben Lee Room, Dun-Waters’ Trophy room, Alice’s bedroom, etc., and all the wonderful stories that are part of this historical site. The Manor House has been winterized and we are now letting the collections rest for the winter months.

As we hunker down for what Old Man Winter is going to throw at us this year the planning has already started for next year. Our new Business Manager, Shannon, is bubbling over with ideas and suggestions for many new Special Events which will take place at the Manor House next year, so we will definitely have our work cut out for us!   Keep an eye on our website www.fintry.ca for teasers ……and info as it becomes available.

And now a word from our Curator Dan Bruce:

The Park is now closed for the season, and so begins the time for doing any necessary conservation, and making adjustments to the exhibits in the Manor. Several recent acquisitions have been introduced, however, our visitors have not yet seen the framed mirror that will be hung in the living room ready for the 2020 season. This is yet one more interesting item from Taylor’s Antiques in Kelowna.

Collecting seashells was a popular pastime in the Victorian age that provided something to do at the beach when sunbathing was not considered with the same enthusiasm that it is today Very often the shells ended up in boxes and soon forgotten or thrown out.  In some cases however, the multitude of shapes, sizes and colours sparked a deeper interest, resulting in considerable efforts being made to enlarge the collection.  What to do with them? Many evenings were spent devising ways to show them off. Some people had glass topped tables made, whereby the shells could be seen in a compartment under the glass.  Others filled cabinets fitted with a series of drawers to hold their collections. Enthusiasts were known to frequent the sea ports of Britain where they would eagerly question incoming sailors to see if they had brought back any exciting specimens from their voyages. This “market” quickly became known to mariners who could often sell their shells for considerable sums to serious collectors.

On a lesser scale, shells were used to decorate the home in various ways. Our new mirror is an example of this, as the frame is completely covered in shells, carefully arranged and stuck in place.  Perhaps the most elaborate and fantastic example of this is to be seen at Goodwood Park in Sussex. Here, the Duchess of Richmond and her two daughters, in 1739, started to decorate every inch of the interior of a garden pavilion, entirely covering all walls and ceiling with shells. They finished the project seven years later, having created something very likely unique anywhere in the world, and did very well by the makers of glue!

At Fintry, we have a small but very attractive glass fronted cabinet, which has stood empty in the living room all summer. This is now being restored by the removal of a lining of wallpaper, and the replacement of the glass shelving. The plan is to use it to exhibit a selection of shells that we have in the collection. It requires no stretch of the imagination to think that James Dun-Waters would have appreciated such a thing – the “Cabinet of Curiosities” was very much a part of the furnishings of stately homes, and in many instances formed the nucleus around which some of the world’s greatest museums came into being.

Many thanks to Dr. Bill Gibson of Lake Country who has kindly undertaken the restoration of this cabinet.

This has been a very busy and successful year as we continue to grow and promote  Dun-Waters’ legacy. We encourage you in addition to being a Friend of Fintry to consider being a Fintry volunteer. We have several different options and are always looking for assistance with events, guiding tours, gardening etc. I can be reached through the Fintry email: [email protected].

Stay warm…….                                                                                                                     

Kathy Drew, President

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

October Octagon

There is a definite chill in the air which signifies that Fall has arrived and it is time to get those winter woollies out!  The Manor House and Fintry Provincial Park will be closing at Thanksgiving for the season and what a busy season we had.  As we reflect back on those hot summer days we think of all the visitors from around the world who visited and toured the Manor House; some tours way over capacity as visitors were so eager to hear the Dun-Waters’ story. We hosted several bus tours from Seniors’ Residences on weekdays; these are always a delight as the seniors love to see the artefacts from their childhood.   We were delighted to see the figures for this past season show an increase in revenue from tours and gift shop sales despite the fact that due to a lack of volunteers, we were only able to offer guided tours on weekends. (With an exception for special advanced tour bookings for seniors and school groups.)

September 15th saw our Fintry Fall Fair take place in front of the Manor House ….in the pouring rain! In many years of the Friends putting on Fairs, this was the first real soaker. However, our hardy group of volunteers stepped up as usual and braved the elements, as did several vendors…… and the show went on regardless.  The Vikings, clad in body armour, were impervious to the weather, the Kalamalka Highlanders played on the verandah and Kilt 45 and others had everyone’s feet stomping as they entertained the umbrella covered crowd.  We actually had 130 people tour the Manor House that day, probably because it was a welcome relief to come inside from the torrential downpour! For those of you who missed the Fairs this year, we will be holding these events again next year (plus a few more exciting additions) with the first being held on Mother’s Day 2020.

With assistance from a Central Okanagan Foundation grant, we have now hired Shannon Jorgenson as our Business Manager. Her role is to come up with some new and different Special Events that will put Fintry on the map, so watch for exciting new happenings at the Manor House next year. Shannon is well known in the heritage community and we are delighted to have her and her expertise onboard.

Our Curator, Dan Bruce has unearthed some interesting facts about an item in our collection, as follows:

The Red Room, or Dun-Waters’ study contains ample proof of his interest in Ayrshire cattle and his generous support of the Armstrong Fair, perhaps better known as the Interior Provincial Exhibition, ( I.P.E.)  Here, amongst other things visitors can see an almost complete set of the Canadian Ayrshire Herd Books, a framed certificate of appreciation presented to him by the directors of the Fair, and the carefully mounted horns of “Lucky Girl”, one of the prized Ayrshires that called the octagonal dairy barn home.

The most outstanding of all the Ayrshire related items in the room is the “Hudson’s Bay Trophy”, a spectacular silver cup from the workshop of Omar Ramsden in London, made in 1924.   Three pieces come together to form the complete trophy. Firstly, the base is a circular stand of oak, custom made to fit the foot of the second piece, the  cup itself , which, if filled would hold almost a litre. (In this case perhaps Ayrshire milk would be less likely to spill than Laird of Fintry single malt).   Four lion masks support curled branches, that in turn hold the body of the cup whereon are blazoned the arms of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Around the rim an inscription reads  “Presented by the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay”   The third part, the crowning glory, is the lid. A solid silver Ayrshire stands on a pedestal set with garnets which rises from a wavy-rayed sunburst on the lid’s surface. On lifting the lid, the sun imagery is re-stated as the gilt inner surface catches the light.

The cup bears Omar Ramsden’s hallmarks, and also the Latin inscription that he used after 1919, “Omar Ramsden me fecit”,  Omar Ramsden made me.

Omar Ramsden was born in Yorkshire in 1873. His family were well established in the silversmiths’ world, and he followed suit. He spent some time working in the United States, but returned to England to set up a studio and workshop in London, where he created a wide range of silver objects until his death in 1939. After this, his wife, Annie, kept the business going for several years.  In 1898, he won a competition to design a civic mace for the City of Sheffield.    In 1921, he was elected a member of the Royal Miniaturists Society, who then exhibited over 90 of his pieces.

Today he is regarded as one of the masters of British silversmiths, his works being on exhibit in many museums in the UK and abroad.

Given the circumstances here, we may speculate that James Dun-Waters may have persuaded the HBC to sponsor this masterpiece to celebrate the Ayrshire cattle at the Armstrong Fair.

                                              ********************************

Still in the spirit of the season, I would like to thank all the hard working members of the Friends of Fintry as well as the numerous volunteers who made the three Fairs, held in May, July and September happen.

I am truly grateful to those of you who take time out of your already busy lives, to step up and take on whatever role needs filling…… rain or shine! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Kathy Drew, President

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

September Octagon

We are once again preparing for our last Fair of the year…..our Fintry Fall Fair which will be taking place on Sunday, September 15th with a wonderful new line-up of great musicians, including Kilt 45, some new vendors and the return of the Vikings as well as the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band.  Attached is the line-up of performers so you can gauge your visit according to what you want to see and hear! Of course Manor House tours will be running all day so if you haven’t visited lately this would be the day to come. Remember we are now wheelchair accessible (thanks to BC Parks) so everyone can view the interior of this historic house.

The Fintry Manor House has become a popular place for residents from Care Homes to visit. Last week we once again welcomed a group of seniors from a Kelowna Care Home. They were very grateful to have this ramp which enabled those with wheelchairs and walkers to come into the Manor House to view and learn the history of the Dun-Waters era. They enjoyed a picnic on the veranda before the tour and I know they enjoyed reminiscing over some of the artifacts from this bygone time, but which they remembered using as youngsters. We always enjoy hearing their stories and we learn from them as well!

We are in the final stages of hiring a Business Manager to help us with our Special Events program, courtesy of a grant which we obtained through the Central Okanagan Foundation.  Next year you can expect to see many more different events held at Fintry in addition to our three Fairs.

Our Walking Tour brochure has now been printed (thanks to BC Parks) and is available in the Manor House and in the box by the front steps. This has a numbered map of the Fintry Estate so one can go for a wander and read about the history at the different points.

Our Curator, Dan Bruce has shared the following with us:

“ Long term planning, and a little bit of luck”

Several years ago there was a scheme in Kelowna to introduce peregrine falcons to the city, hoping they would use the Landmark Square and perhaps other high-rises as nesting sites. The falcons did not agree.    One of the birds mistook a reflective glass surface for open space, with fatal results. The bird was given to the Fintry Estate as a specimen, and our Volunteer taxidermist, Joanne Beaulieu prepared it as a mount for exhibition.  I had asked her to use the pose in which John James Audubon had painted this species in his monumental work, “The Birds of America”.


The creation of “The Birds of America” is an epic tale in itself. Audubon was born in Haiti in 1785, emigrating to France, then to America in 1803. His career as an artist culminated in the series of over 400 paintings depicting North American native birds.  Unable to find subscribers, or the expertise he required to engrave and publish the paintings in America, he took them to England in 1826, where he found the support and was able to complete the project.  The Peregrine Falcon, or Great Footed Hawk was plate number 16 in the series.

Audubon’s great project brought him international fame, scientific honours and modest fortune before his death in 1851. His work revolutionised bird illustration forever.  Plate 16, depicting the birds in lifelike, if gory action, made the older idea of a “bird-on-a-perch” boring. Plate 16 is pivotal.

Between 1971 and 1972 the Dutch publishers Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and the Johnson Reprint Company of New York collaborated with the Teyler’s Museum of Haarlem, Holland to produce a new edition of “The Birds of America”. Limited to 250 copies, it is an exact reproduction in colour, size and paper quality of the 1834 Havell edition published in London under Audubon’s supervision. The Teyler Museum copy was purchased from Audubon’s son in 1839.

Late one evening, while “surfing the ‘net”, I came across the website of a high-end art dealer in New York. Normally not the kind of place I can afford to even breathe in, but I went in anyway. A few random single plates were on offer from the Dutch reprint edition, and YES ! number 16 was available.  The following day, confirmation of the order arrived from New York, and the new Peregrine soon took wing for the Okanagan.   As you view the framed plate above the fireplace in the Dining Room, give a thought to those who were involved in the apparently simple task of hanging it.  Sometimes the simple tasks can be deceptive!

In asking Joanne to copy Audubon’s pose for the mount, I did hope to find a way to draw attention to the species, as well as the significance of Audubon’s work. Of all the prints available, number 16 was pure luck!

Remember:

The Fintry Fall Fair on Sunday, September 15th  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A special note…..if you renew your membership at the Fair, it is valid until April 30, 2021!

Kathy Drew, President,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

FINTRY  FALL FAIR, SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15 2019

                                                          MUSIC SCHEDULE

10:00 A.M – 10:45 AM –  Brad Ulmer and guests  – funky country songs from Falkland, B.C.

10:45 AM – 11:00 AM – Ruby Kaltainen – performing pop hits

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – VIKINGS

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM – Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM – Fritz van’Thullaner – performing classic soft rock

1:15 PM –   2:00 PM – VIKINGS

2:00 PM –  2:30 PM – Kilt 45 – 4 male singers performing Scottish favourites

2:30 PM –  3:10 PM – TRISKELE – a celtic band

3:10 PM  –  4:00 PM –  Crimson Skies –  classic soft rock

The Octagon for August 2019

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – August, 2019 

Greetings Friends,

The month of July has been very busy at Fintry. The weekend tours have been full to capacity with people and campers from all over the world coming to hear the Dun-Waters’ story. The Fintry Summer Fair held on July 14th was one of our best ever with a constant stream of visitors touring the Manor House, checking out the vendors and enjoying the music. The weather co-operated and from the comments we received it seemed that everyone had a good time.

We now are in the planning stages for the Fintry Fall Fair to be held on Sunday, September 15th.These Fairs are an important source of revenue for the Friends of Fintry and we are very grateful for your support, so mark the date on your calendars and bring your friends and family for a fun day at Fintry.

Earlier this year we applied for a grant through BC Parks “Parks Enhancement Fund” for the printing of a walking tour brochure. We wish to announce that we were successful in obtaining funding for this endeavour (which is now at the printers) and we would like to thank BC Parks for assisting us with this. This walking tour brochure will give informed access to the various historic and natural features of the Fintry Provincial Park.

We have also been successful in obtaining a grant through the Central Okanagan Foundation (COF) which will enable us to hire a Business Manager. We are extremely grateful for this grant, as this will lighten the load for us volunteers  as we expand our special events programming.

And now some musings from our Curator Dan Bruce:

“Take the time to smell the roses on your next visit to Fintry!   We know that when the Dun-Waters were in residence, the Manor House was surrounded by about five acres of ornamental gardens. The present extent of the lawn, mostly on the east side of the house is essentially the same as it was at that time. Over the years, several changes took place, which is to be expected, gardens being living entities.    The pathway from the front steps leads straight towards a gravel circle, in the centre of which stands the sundial.

                                                           Serene he stands among the flowers

                                                           And only counts the sunny hours

                                                           For him dark days do not exist,

                                                           That brazen faced old optimist.

The sundial was returned to Fintry and replaced in its original position in honour of Arthur Bailey, Baron d’Avray,  Chevalier de St. Louis, who lived for many years at Fintry and was the last owner of the property before it became a BC Park.   At one time, the stone pathway was lined with small flowering trees.    Just to the south-west of the sundial, there stands a gigantic Douglas Fir.  This tree has survived a traumatic experience, having lost the greater part of its height in some unknown mishap. Lateral branches continued to grow, somewhat unusually for a Douglas Fir. These branches increasing in size became unwieldy, and some of them broke off in a wind storm.  Rather than see the tree cut down and removed, the Friends of Fintry asked the assistance of Cody Tree Services of Kelowna to see if this veteran could be saved. Simon Carrol, Cody’s top arborist came and assessed the situation, installing a series of steel cables that hold the surviving branches safely together, thus giving the tree anew lease on life.

Two specimens of the climbing rose “Bobbie James”have been planted to go up the tree. This rose variety was discovered as a seedling growing in Lady Serena James’ garden in Yorkshire, UK in 1961. It is named after her late husband, the Hon. Robert James.  In a good location, “Bobbie James” will reach a height of at least 25 feet.

The roses along the front of the Manor House are for the most part David Austin’s English roses, raised at his famous nursery in Shropshire.  At the north-east corner of the veranda is “Pat Austin” a coppery coloured rose raised in 1995 and named in honour of David Austin’s wife.  Next comes “Miss Alice”, a pink one chosen for Fintry because the first Mrs. Dun-Waters name was Alice. Then follows “Charles Rennie Mackintosh” raised in 1988 and named after the Scottish architect and designer who, among many other things, created the tower on the office of the Glasgow Herald newspaper, of which James Dun-Waters was the major shareholder.   The very dark crimson rose next to the front steps is “Tradescant”,  introduced in 1993.   On the south side of the veranda, you will find the white flowered Madame Hardy, raised in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris in 1832, which shares the space with the strawberry pink Madame Isaac Pereire, also raised in France, but a bit later, in 1881.”

Who knew that we had such an abundance of famous roses surrounding the Manor House. So as Dan says, take the time to “smell the roses” on your next visit as they do have absolutely beautiful aromas unlike many of the roses of today.

Enjoy your summer,

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park