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

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