Fintry Octagon – June 2019

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

The Octagon – June, 2019        

The first Fair of this year was held on Mother’s Day in May. It was a glorious day and was very well attended…….. also lots of vendors set up on the lawn, music all day long, Vikings and Bagpipes!  A big “thank you” to all our volunteers who stepped up to help with set up, take down, security and with tours of the Manor House. These events require a lot of planning and we would never be able to execute them without your assistance.

 Our next Fair is on Sunday, July 14th so mark your calendars, and bring all those summer visitors to visit this hidden gem of the Okanagan.

Our Education Outreach Committee has been on the road giving presentations at various Retirement Residences as well as hosting some senior and school groups at the Fintry Manor House. It is a great opportunity for reminiscing for the seniors…… and for the students, it fits right in with the current school curriculum showcasing “Pioneers and Explorers”.  

There is also a photography display at the Westbank Library (until the end of May) of old road building machinery, the Fintry Packing House and apple picking at Fintry.

Our regular tours are still happening every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm and at 2:30 pm.  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.

Our Curator Dan Bruce has been doing some research on a couple of interesting items which are on display in the Manor House.

During her declining years, Alice, the first Mrs. Dun-Waters needed a wheelchair.  The original one, or ones have not survived, but we do have an example of one that may have looked somewhat like hers. The one now to be seen in Alice’s sitting room was offered to us some time ago by Randy Smith of Blast from the Past Antiques in Vernon. It did indeed appear to be a 1920’s model, and after being expertly re-upholstered by our Volunteer, Tony Durante, it became part of the furniture.    Interestingly the chair has a maker’s plaque on the back, a small piece of French ivory inscribed  “By appointment to the late King George VI, invalid chair manufacturers, Carters (J. & A.) Ltd.  65 Wigmore Street London W I “     King George VI did not die until 1952, so the plaque implies that it was made after that date.  One wonders why such an “old fashioned” type of chair would have been made then.   We have discovered that the Science Museum in London has an apparently identical chair in their collection, and I have written to ask if theirs has the same plaque. In due course, they will answer, and we may be able to say more about this item in a future Octagon issue.

Prominent in the “Dressing Room”, just before entering the Trophy Room is a print of one of the most famous animal paintings ever done in England, Sir Edwin Landseer’s “ Monarch of the Glen”. It is probably safe to say that very few Scottish households are without a copy of this in some form or other.  The painting was completed in 1851, and intended for the Palace of Westminster. It has been pointed out (no word play intended) that the red deer stag depicted has 12 points, making it a “Royal Stag” as opposed to a “Monarch” which must show 16.   Art critics have been very scathing about this painting, along with other works by Sir Edwin, but then criticism is easy!  The painting has passed through several hands since it was created, one of the most recent being the Dewar’s Whisky manufacturers. They put it up for sale a year or so ago, and it was purchased by the National Gallery of Scotland, for some four million pounds, thus keeping this iconic highland image in the public eye.    Sir Edwin Landseer was a favourite artist with Queen Victoria, and another claim to fame is that he was responsible for the four massive bronze lions that sit at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

A big Thank You to BC Parks and Encan Construction who have now installed an entry door to the Octagonal Dairy Barn, enabling us to conduct barn tours once again. The barn has been out of commission for some time, due to excessive vandalism with the original doors.

A recent addition to the library at Fintry is a copy of the official souvenir programme for Vancouver’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1936 in almost mint condition. This is something that James Dun-Waters may well have attended.

A reminder to all our members that the Friends of Fintry Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, June 15th, 10 a.m. at the Fintry Manor House. All members are urged to attend …..there will be a draw and refreshments after the meeting.

Kathy Drew, President

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

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