The Octagon – September, 2022

Greetings all….

As we cruise through the last vestiges of summer we have been fortunate that despite the ongoing heat, forest fires have not disrupted our lives this year. However, with not having received our usual grant for summer students we regrettably have only been able to be open weekends with our volunteers taking turns giving the Manor House tours.

I hope many of you were able to enjoy the Okanagan Symphony Pocket Orchestra when they played on the Manor House deck at the beginning of August. Over 200 people came out and enjoyed two hours of incredible music. Lawn chairs and blankets were spread out all around the perimeter of the lawn as people grabbed every little piece of shade available.  We are delighted to be able to hold a second musical afternoon at Fintry to be held on the lawn of the Manor House on Saturday, September 3rd between 4 and 6 pm. This free event features the beautiful voice of Emily MacArthur with her brother Alex, on keyboard. This duo entertained us during our Fintry Fusion Art Show in June and their renditions of “Hallelujah” and “Cabaret” were an absolute delight. They play everything from Beethoven to Broadway. So, come on down, bring a blanket or a lawn-chair and a picnic and prepare to be transported to another world with their delightful melodies. Both these events courtesy of the Government of Canada.

On Sunday September 11th we will be holding our Fintry Fall Fair on the grounds of the Manor House. Once again, lots of vendors, the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band and the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band are in the lineup to entertain you. Food trucks, Ice cream, face painting, 50/50 draws and kids’ activities all ensure a jam-packed day of entertainment.

At the beginning of August, the Lee family through the Ben Lee Legacy Fund (Central Okanagan Foundation) donated $5000 to the Friends of Fintry. For those who have visited the Manor House you will be familiar with the room where we show our introductory video and that has Ben Lee’s picture on the wall. Ben Lee was an incredible man, committed to preserving culture and instrumental in Fintry becoming a Provincial Park. We are very grateful for this donation. With us not obtaining student grants etc. it will certainly be put to good use.

Lee family with Dan and Kathy

Following is another little piece of history which Dan Bruce has unearthed (courtesy of Rod Stuart) and is rather interesting…….

“Last month I made a passing reference to the postal service that kept Fintry in touch with the world before the days of hand-held ‘reality’ and the internet. We have an empty envelope in the collection that came through that system.

The heavy brown paper envelope has an embossed stamp on the back flap, indicating that it was from the stationery supplies of the Royal Bank of Scotland.   The letter, addressed to Miss M. C. Stuart, Fintry, Okanagan Landing, British Columbia, Canada was sent by registered mail from London.  The registration stamp is intact, and the blue crayon cross-lines on front and back emphasize the point.    The actual postage stamp(s) have been removed long ago, taking the postmark date of mailing with them.   The back bears two additional and identical registration postmarks, dated 28th May, 1940, but the location at which those were applied is illegible in both cases.     Other postmarks are clear however, and we can backtrack this item to Winnipeg, on June 12th, 1940, then to Vernon on June 14th, where it was stamped as Duty Free by Vernon Customs.    The “KEL & SIC RPO mark was presumably added upon its arrival in Vernon, in care of the CPR.

The Royal Bank of Scotland sealed the envelope with three applications of the traditional red sealing wax, each one bearing the seal impression of the Bank’s London office.    At that time, the RBS was at number 3 Bishopsgate, London EC2, a site now occupied, it seems, by a branch of the HSBC.

(Also, on Bishopsgate is the church of St. Helen, where one can see the tomb brass set up in 1535 of which we have a rubbing, on the east wall in the Trophy Room. Sadly, the lady’s name has been lost.)

At this point, one can only speculate on what the contents of the envelope were, but given the 1940 date, perhaps something connected with James Dun-Waters will might be a reasonable guess.   The envelope survives thanks to the care that Rod and Karen Stuart took to keep family papers together, and bring them back to add to the Fintry collections.”

Don’t forget two important dates coming up, Saturday, September 3rd from 4-6 on the Manor House grounds….The MacArthur Duo and on Sunday, September 11th  10-4pm……the Fintry Fall Fair.

Hope to see you all there!

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

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