Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
The Octagon – July, 2019
It has hard to believe that half the year is now gone and (dare I say it) the days are getting shorter!
The Friends of Fintry held their Annual General Meeting on the 15th June at the Manor House and it was great to see so many of our wonderful members in attendance. Our guest speaker, Steve Fleck, Executive Director from the Vernon Museum and Archives, regaled us with ways that we (all heritage institutions) can work together for better promotion. He suggested ways that we could partner together for some exciting new programs…….so stay tuned!
Just a reminder that we rely heavily on our membership base for grants, etc so if you haven’t yet renewed for this year we encourage you to do so either on-line through our website (www.fintry.ca) or at the Fair on July 14th. Memberships expire on April 30th of each year and entitle you to free tours throughout the year!
Our regular tours are still happening every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm and at 2:30 pm. and are being very well attended, many at capacity. Tours cost $5.00 per adult and $2.00 for children and students. Those under five are free and if you are a member of the Friends of Fintry there is no charge. We would love to extend these tour days into weekdays as well but unfortunately we have a dearth of tour guides so are very limited in the days we can be open, not to mention the distance we have to travel to host these tours.
Our next event is the Fintry Summer Fair to be held on Sunday, July 14th from 10-4 pm on the grounds of the Manor House. We will have live music, lots of vendors, children’s activities and tours of the Manor House, so bring those summer visitors and spend a fun day at Fintry.
We are very grateful for the donation of 39 perennials (plus a flat of geraniums) from Nicholas Alexander Landscaping in Vernon which have been planted around Alice Dun-Waters’ gravesite – a wonderful addition to the heritage roses which are blooming profusely just now.
Now here are some more exciting updates and insights from our Curator Dan Bruce:
Good news for those who have been waiting to have tours of the octagonal dairy barn. This has been closed for some time due to the fact that vandals had forced the original sliding doors open, which destroyed the bearing wheels and the track on which they ran. After repeated break-ins we had sealed the doors to prevent any access at all, fire risk being the chief concern.
BC Parks have now made a temporary access doorway so that we can resume barn tours. While closed to human entry, smaller wildlife had an easy time of it in the undisturbed barn, and a thorough clean-up was required. The Ulfhethnar Viking Re-enactors came out and spent an afternoon inside, exchanging brooms and shovels for their swords and axes. They made short work of the clean-up, and with the direction and assistance of Rod Stuart who came up from Okanagan Falls, the barn is now presentable again.
Our caterer’s kitchen, just off the Ben Lee Room has now been inspected by Interior Health and given the approval for use.
Wire has been added to the steel frame around Alice Dun-Waters’ grave so that the roses can be encouraged to climb up and cover it. This was intended from the start, but the very poor soil in that part of the garden has been a problem. Board members Kathy and Keith have added plant material to the grave site, generously donated by Nicholas Alexander of Vernon. We are also trying to get the “Bobby James” roses to climb up the venerable Douglas Fir on the main lawn. So far, they have not shown much enthusiasm for the climb.
Those who have read the Sherlock Holmes tale “The Hound of the Baskervilles” may remember a line right at the end where, having cleared up the matter of the Hound, Sherlock suggests that he and Dr. Watson have a relaxing evening. He says “Have you heard the DeReszkes?” This is a reference to the then very popular DeReszke brothers and their sister, Polish opera singers working in London. A Russian cigarette maker created a blend of tobacco that would not damage Jean DeReszke’s voice (or so they thought). He was allowed to market his cigarettes as “DeReszke, the Aristocrat of Tobacco”. James Dun-Waters smoked DeReszkes as well as a pipe. We have one of the original cigarette tins that was used at Fintry. It is just possible that like Sherlock Holmes, James Dun-Waters may have heard the DeReszkes on stage.
In closing I would just like to remind everyone of the Fintry Summer Fair to be held on Sunday, July 14th from 10-4 pm on the grounds of the Manor House. We are always in need of volunteers to assist in various areas that day, so if you would like to lend a hand, please contact either myself (Kathy Drew) at 250-542-4139 or Dan Bruce at 250-766-2081. We can assign an area of interest to you, for all or part of the day…..no experience necessary!
Hope to see you at the Fair……..
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park