The Octagon – June, 2023

Greetings Friends,

Although summer is not officially here, it certainly feels like it and we must enjoy these glorious days while we can still see the smoke-free sky and the green hills.

It feels like summer at the Fintry Provincial Park as well with loads of campers out and about with Saturdays being really busy for Manor House tours. Our Mother’s Day Fair went extremely well, the weather cooperated; we had a wonderful variety of vendors and a great selection of musicians who entertained us throughout the day.

Next on our agenda is the Fintry Fusion Art Show to be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 24th and 25th. Artists from around the Okanagan will be displaying and selling their work which will be displayed throughout the Manor House; our good friend Fritz will be playing some background music and the Friends of Fintry will be providing a Strawberry Cream Tea. This event proved very popular last year so mark your calendars and come check it out. The show runs from 10-4pm both days.

With funding from RDCO we have now been able to hire a much-needed Business Manager (Kaitlyn Richards). We are delighted to have her onboard to keep us all in line, do all the necessary paperwork, set up projects etc. that seems to take up so much of our time.

We also have hired one summer student to assist with tours during the busy summer months but are still searching for another as we were successful in getting a Canada Summer Jobs grant for two students.

We are looking forward to June 14th when we will be giving a private tour of the Manor House to some guests from the Fintry museum in Scotland. I visited there last year so this is a reciprocal visit so they can see how we have tied in James Dun-Waters early days in Fintry, Scotland with what became his home in Fintry right here.

Another important event is our Annual General Meeting which will be held this year on Saturday, July 15th,  10 a.m. at the Manor House. We will have a guest speaker, door prizes and refreshments. This is an important meeting and we urge all our members to attend. If your membership has lapsed one can be renewed at the door that day.

Following is a rather interesting story about a banner that we have in our collection…..Dan Bruce has done some research, discovered some interesting facts and somehow is always able to tie them back into Fintry!

The picture shows James Dawson, one of our Board members, holding the banner of Jesus College, Cambridge. This was specially obtained for us by our whilom Board member, Michael Clegg, a former student at Jesus.    As you will remember, James Dun-Waters also attended Jesus College, where he excelled at sports, but was a little more relaxed when it came to the academic life.

James Dawson

Jesus College was founded in 1496, by John Alcock, bishop of Ely, who at that time asked and was given permission by Henry VI to utilize the derelict buildings of a nunnery as a college for prospective members of the clergy.

The rooster, cockerel or cock derived from the bishop’s surname, became the heraldic emblem of the college, therefore prominent on the coat-of-arms and the flag.   The college maintains a collection of representations of the bird, one of which, a life-sized bronze image was recently returned to His Majesty the Oba of Benin from whose city it was taken by British troops in the 19th century.

Bishop Alcock was an active and well-respected churchman, and had a number of other interests that kept him busy in the secular world as well as the church.  He was known however for lengthy sermons, and was the first clergyman to have his sermons printed and available for circulation in 1488.     It was Wynkyn de Worde who printed for him in the late 1400’s when the printing trade was just becoming established in England.   

There is a long list of well-known people who attended Jesus College over the years, among them, Thomas Cranmer, (1489 -1556), Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (1772 -1834), James Dun-Waters, and more recently, Michael Clegg.      Some of us remember a board meeting where a quorum was required.    Although still on the Fintry board, Michael was in Baghdad, setting up the democratic election process after the fall of Saddam Hussein.  We had him join the meeting on speaker phone, with his SAS guards in the background!

Thomas Cranmer was Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, being responsible for the creation of the English Prayer Book.  He ended up being burned at the stake in 1556 by ‘Bloody’ Mary in her attempt to return England to the Roman Church.  (In 1555, she also burned Bishop John Hooper, whose direct descendant, John Sugars, was a former president of the Friends of Fintry.)

We understand that it was on Mike Clegg’s insistence that Jesus College had these new banners made, replicating the founder’s badge, and we are so pleased to have this one to add to our collection of items that relate to English and Scottish heraldry.

Hope to see you at some of our upcoming events,

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park

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