Okanagan Gazette

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      WELCOME TO THE OKANAGAN GAZETTE.net

    

         

             

 The Alzheimer Society of B.C. holds Early Stage Support Groups as well as Caregiver Support Groups in Kelowna on Tuesdays. Meetings are held at 865 Bernard Avenue. For further information please contact Michelle Hallgren at 250-860-0305 or email:mhallgren@alzheimerbc.org

                  

 ONE OF US

Many of you may know him as” Peter the great” who lives here in West Kelowna since 1977 with his family.He is the master pastry chef who is famous for the wedding cakes.cakes and torten for special occasions.Peter is best known for making the 4x6 feet Canada Cake.He used to create this strawberry covert delicacy  for 12 years, also was the mastermind behind the 4x10 feet cake for the opening of the Bennett Memorial Bridge, which was topped with a 54 pound pure chocolate replica of the bridge. He sponsors recognitions from all governments celebrities, municipal, provincial and federal. He was recently awarded the Queens Jubilee medal, which was presented by MP Dan Albas and the Lieutenant Governor of BC . 
As a special reward he was ask to represent the federal Government by laying a wreath on Remembrance Day.
Peter is an avid Rotarian, he was presented by his 'club', an honorable “Paul Harris” membership. Together with his wife, Christa they hosted exchange students for 8 years. Most of them are still in contact with them, and helped putting West Kelowna on the map worldwide.

 

       "Keep your stick on the ice"    

                 

 

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    We believe that everyone should have something they enjoy doing , 

Paper Distributorship Opportunities Starting at $5,000. "The Okanagan Gazette", 
It’s black & white a one-page short read.
We promote community services, entertainment, special events,news, media, and offer advertising space and a Word Search.The paper is accompanied with a Mega website, and web advertising and encourages community feedback, while supporting non-profit organizations.
You can find "The Okanagan Gazette" at selective coffee shops and restaurants as well as participating local trade shows.

 

The Benefits of a Bicycle

             


     KING POOL & SPA SERVICES WESTBANK B.C.

                                                                                           

King Pool and Spa is the result of over 35 years of customer service and problem solving experience. Founded by Jerry Mugridge to service the central Okanagan, it is based in West Kelowna near the intersection of Highway 97 and Daemler on Byland Road.

Jerry created King Pool and Spa because he loves problem solving, and saw a large gap in the industry where customer's needs were being ignored. Every day is a rewarding experience, helping satisfied clients.

Jerry Mugridge is a provincially certified gas fitter, limited electrician, recreational vehicle technician, and BC Parks & Recreation Certified Commercial Pool I and II Operator. He also holds the National Spa and Pool Association Tech I and II certifications.

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Westbank Packers was founded in 1930

by Gordon H. Ficke

“My dad, Thomas Benjamin Reece and his wife Eleanor and three children Adrian, Temie and Nelson moved from Scotia Manitoba to Westbank in 1922.” Milton stated. He had immigrated to Canada from Wales in 1905 and had worked in Manitoba as a farm labourer for a number of years. Later he and his brother-in-law were employed with the C.N.R. in British Columbia building and repairing bridges and trestles. “My father later was trained in carpentry and he had the opportunity to work on the construction of the Saskatchewan Legislature Building in Regina in 1910.” Reece recounted. After that job was finished he returned to Manitoba and would contract out, using his carpentry skills building barns, finishing houses, etc. In 1917 Thomas married Eleanor Angus, born in Canada and her parents were Scottish immigrants.

Around 1919 or so Reece, along with some other fellows decided to drive out in a Ford Model T and explore British Columbia. It was quite an adventure traveling those narrow winding mountain roads in those days. When they arrived in Westbank, Thomas liked it so much that he decided to buy 4 acres from Mr. Hurlburt on Main Street where Westridge Mall is today. Reece remodeled the old home on the property. He also bought a one-acre lot adjoining the back of that lot where he eventually built a packing shed.

When he first moved to Westbank he had the contract to move the Westbank Co-op Packing House from its location where the Westbank Lions Community Hall is today to a new site where Hoskins Road is today and was subsequently enlarged. There were a number of packinghouses in town at the time, including B.C. Fruit Shippers, R.A. Pritchard had his own packinghouse by the lake where Pritchard Drive is now and Grieve Elliott also had a small packinghouse for his fruit. These independent farmers sold their own fruit as far away as Saskatchewan. They didn’t necessarily have their own labels on their fruit boxes, but by law they were required to stamp each box with their name to indicate the fruit grower that produced the fruit.

During the 1920s Reece was also contracted to build the irrigation flume that ran from the Powers Creek intake to connect with other flumes that provided water to the various Westbank orchards. In 1930 T. B. Reece built the first packing shed on their property on Elliott and Main Street. It was an open structure and the workers spread the apples out on a table. The packers were skilled to sort and pack the apples according to size and they had to do their job quickly.

Three more children, Gwenith in 1925 (married Ken Harding), Milton in 1926 and Elizabeth in 1932 (married Phil Weddell) were born to the couple. “Dad used to say that every time we have another child we needed to buy another five acres!” Milton chuckled. Mr. Reece bought Mrs. Daisy Hardwick’s adjoining orchard and home, John Dobbin’s orchard, property where Western Financial Services is located including the land where Westbank Towne Centre Shopping Centre is located on the south side of Dobbin Road. This was necessary to expand both their fruit growing and packinghouse operations.

Around 1934 Thomas built their first packinghouse on Brown Road. Long time residents referred to this property as old John Robinson’s ‘shack town.’ This site would be the home of Westbank Orchards. The operation started small and over the years more buildings including a cold storage facility and controlled atmosphere area, were added. Modern sorting equipment was installed and allowed them to put out more tonnage than the old system. Up to 210 bins in a 7½-hour shift or the equivalent of 5000 apple boxes of fruit!

“In the early 1940s dad purchased Harry Grant’s diesel plant that had provided Westbank with its first electrical power. The new role for this generator would be to supply the power required to run the packinghouse. Around 1946 this power plant was sold to the B.C. Power Commission.

In 1947 Adrian, Nelson and Milton were handed the reins of the business from their father. In 1956 Adrian sold his interest to Nelson and Milton. The two remaining partners continued to expand their land holdings by purchasing ten acres across from where Alpine Helicopters is today. It was here that they operated a fruit stand into the early sixties.

Thomas and his wife Eleanor now had the freedom to travel that they did on numerous occasions. In 1959 the couple had planned another trip, this time to include Australia when tragedy struck. They were heading to Kelowna to pick up their passports when they were involved in a two-car accident. Four people were killed, including Eleanor. As a result of the crash Mr. Reece was hospitalized for a long time.

 

The Westbank community was shocked. Mrs. Reece was very active in the community, especially with the Westbank United Church and Westbank’s Women’s Institute, of which she was a charter member. Thomas had drawn up plans for the Westbank United Church and was instrumental in overseeing its construction. In 1973 Thomas Reece died.

 

Nelson and Milton continued to expand and modernize the packinghouse operation and a revolution in fruit growing took hold. Hedge rowing of the apple trees by grafting the tops of the new trees onto dwarf rootstalk and then planting those trees close together resulted in shorter branches, thus allowing the sunshine to reach every apple on the tree. This new method replaced the large trees that were spaced thirty feet apart where the sunlight was impeded from reaching the apples growing on the lower branches. As a result too many ‘C’ grade apples were produced.

 

In 2002 Nelson and Milton leased the packinghouse to another company and they kept the operation going until 2006. For the 2006 to 2007 season the company sent the fruit to Kelowna and the Westbank Packinghouse ceased its operations. In the late spring of 2007 an arson fire completely destroyed the last packinghouse in Westbank.

 Photograph:

1945 photograph of Milton posing beside the 1940 two-ton Ford truck. Due to a shortage of apple boxes, his father asked Adrian and him to pick up a load of fruit boxes from Vernon. There are approximately 1000 apple boxes on this load.

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Artist issues charity challenge

SATURDAY, 22 DECEMBER 2012 02:00 J.P. SQUIRE           

From left, Westside Community Food Bank interim manager Grant MacWilliam holds a painting donated by Pierre LaChance, LaChance holds a wooden replica truck decorated with food bank stickers, and Gord Milsom, food bank society treasurer, holds a 1994 Westbank Lions Good News bear donated by LaChance.

 

Pierre LaChance is challenging other artists to donate some of their work to the Westside Community Food Bank.

The West Kelowna resident, who is a combination designer, wood craftsman and artist, recently received a Westbank Lions Good News bear. He decided to donate it to the food bank to be used as a fundraising prize. Then he added an intricately carved model truck and one of his personal pieces of local artwork.
"A third party who wants to remain anonymous gave me Ernie the bear from CHBC-TV's 1994 Good News campaign because I'm a Westbank Lion," he explained.
The food bank can raise money from the bear, wooden truck and framed artwork during one of its silent auctions next year, he suggested.
The bear has the international Lions crest on a distinctive cap and wears a Lions' green vest, blue pants, white shirt and tie. The model truck is adorned with stickers identifying it as a food bank vehicle.
"As a Lion, I serve my community to the best of my ability," said LaChance, who is mentally challenged. "I would like to challenge other local artisans to also come forward and donate a piece of theirs to the food bank in order to raise funds to help others that are less fortunate than us."
LaChance started wood carving at the age of 10 as therapy after a 1959 Plymouth ran over him while he was cycling at age seven.
His fascination with motor vehicles resulted in a series of wooden cars, trucks and motorcycles. He's done a 1996 Molson Indy replica car, for example, Evel Knievel's XR750 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and even a two-metre-long Spanish galleon.
"All that is being done for the food bank is very much appreciated by many, many people here on the Westside," said Gord Milsom, treasurer of the Westside Community Food Bank Society.
Hopefully, it encourages others to donate "and make Christmas that much merrier for many in our community," Milsom said.
Grant MacWilliam, interim food bank manager, thinks it could be a major fundraiser.
"It's something we've never done," he said. "Hopefully, it's a big success."
LaChance's challenge inspired West Kelowna painter Sandra Anne Kessler to donate a large oil painting she named Le Cafe. Her rendition of the restaurant in the National Arts Centre was completed in three months from the vantage point of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
"It has been in various exhibits, and I hope it finds a good home," said Kessler, who started painting at the age of 12.
"I'm so glad you've done this because I had wanted to do something like this too," she told LaChance. "I thought: do I have the energy to bring something like this together?"
The food bank has been busy, with its last hampers going out Tuesday. In all, more than 250 hampers went out this week, slightly less than last Christmas. About 130 hampers went to one- or two-person households, and the rest went to families. The food bank supported 267 family members in November, 100 of those children, said MacWilliam.

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