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Westbank's 110th Anniversary

What a GREAT Party on Saturday, August 17, 2013


Westside Weekly Article

CLICK HERE to download the Courier article in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download the Westside Weekly article in PDF format.

We celebrated the 110th anniversary of our vibrant, historic town all day long on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at the Westbank Community Centre at 2466 Main Street.









Download the Birthday Press Release in PDF format.

Sheila Paynter

When asked what her presentation for the Westbank 110th Anniversary event would be about, Sheila Paynter chuckled and remarked, "I go back to the horse and buggy days." Where to start?
Sheila Paynter, born in 1920 at the Kelowna General Hospital, will have plenty to talk about on August 17th during the Westbank 110th Anniversary Celebration at the Westbank Lions Community Hall. She will focus on the change in farming methods over the past 70 years including equipment, irrigation and improvement of fruit varieties.
Sheila's parents owned and operated a small orchard of mixed fruit in Peachland. Henry Paynter - whom Sheila married in 1946 - and his family also operated a mixed fruit farm in Westbank - but on a much larger scale.
As well as having an extensive farming background, Sheila graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1942 with degrees in Psychology and English. Between bringing up a family of six children with her husband Henry, and helping on the farm, Sheila also taught kindergarten for several years and regularly orchestrated farm tours for school children. Additionally, Sheila has written three books about hiking, boating and golfing around the Okanagan Lake. And she still dabbles in writing projects as a regular columnist for the Westside Weekly.
To this day Sheila continues to be active in the farming scenario volunteering as a Greeter at her grandaughter's Fruit Stand in Westbank.

Ferne Jean

Ferne Jean's grandfather, David Erskine Gellatly with his family, settled in the area in 1900 which was later named Gallatly Flats, Gellatly, BC. He extensively farmed this land as well as another approximately 350 acres at Boucherie Flats.
The two oldest boys, Davis and John Ure Gellatly, were each given ten acres of land. This was the beginning of the Nut Farm Nurseries. David's property was gradually sold off after his death but John's property is still a working nut tree farm. John (most young people referred to him as "Uncle Jack") spent his lifetime experimenting with different cultivars from many places in the world, developing hardy nut trees.
Ferne spent her childhood playing on the beach at Uncle Jack's farm as well as picking up nuts at one cent a pound. Later in Jack's life Ferne lived with him to help care for him.
Today we all enjoy Jack's nut farm as a beautiful Regional Park, known in many parts of the world as The Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.

WFN Heritage Repository

The Westbank First Nation Heritage Repository is dedicated to collecting, preserving, restoring and interpreting art and artefact collections that reflect the heritage and natural history of the syilx/Okanagan people. Our main goal is to create exhibits and programming which engage the public and represent sqilx? people and heritage from the perspective of the people themselves. We believe in the power of our own voice to inspire, educate and transform.
Having a vibrant connection to arts and heritage, the Repository strives to work collaboratively with outside organizations as a way of highlighting our worldviews and to promote a better understanding of who we are, from the very beginning up to the present day. There are excellent opportunities for all peoples to get involved through the Repository and we encourage everyone to come for a visit and share ideas.
The Westbank First Nation Heritage Repository is located at 211-3011 Louie Drive (across from the Staples). Please feel free to contact us at 250.768.7738.
Photo: Summer Students: Kyla Shields and Reba De Guevara

Milton Reese

Milton was born in Kelowna, BC in 1926 and has lived in Westbank all of his life.
He is married to Esther (Esther Kennedy) and has three children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Milton was co-owner of Westbank Packers LTD. until he sold his interest in 2006. He was a member of the Westbank fire brigade for 22 years, a Trustee of Westbank irrigation district for 18 years, a Member of the Canada centennial committee, a Charter member of the Westbank Yacht club and a Charter member of Westbank Lions Club and past president.

The Westbank Museum is in the process of creating a historical community project, with hopes of publishing the local finds in a book, revealing the origins of our community. We hope to accomplish this by receiving the following information:

  • Following pioneer families from the 1800s through to modern day
  • Building community family trees
  • Social and industrial development of the Westside areas
  • Who, where, why and when? To further research and development on this historical project.
  • Reconstruction of Main street and area (housing, businesses, and street names though the decades)
  • Map of original homes in area with second generation families (depicting growth)
  • Areas covered: Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, Westbank, Lakeview Heights, Rose Valley, and Westside Road

Poppy Angus is the active Vice President of the Westbank Museum. She volunteers her time running informative museum tours thoughout the year, and hosting heritage teas. Poppy will be assisting Kathleen Reece in the Westside Historical Project.
Kathleen Reece (Drought): is the Treasurer of the Westbank Museum and a member of a long time historical family. Her keen interest in local history has led her towards creating the Westside Historical Project.

SPECIAL APPEARANCE - The Ogopogo Locos - 12 Noon Sharp!


Members of The Ogopogo Locos (LP and the Allstars), made a special promotional appearance at the Westbank Farmers Market from Noon - 12:30 on Saturday, August 17. This great seven-piece group appeared at the Westbank 110th Birthday Dinner and Dance during the evening and provided a terrific night of country and good ol' Rock'n'Roll music starting right after the roast beef dinner provided by Happytizers Catering.

Just Us - 9:45 - 11:00


Just Us is a group of six guys and gals that love to play music and entertain people.
We have been together for about 7 years and play at a lot of seniors homes, gated communities and also some of us play at Good Sam functions and campouts.
We play because we love music and feature mostly 40's to 60's styles as well as semi modern and gospel.

Vic Ukrainetz - 8:00 - 9:45

The original member of the "Dance Band" also with the OMA award winning Bluegrass group "Day Late & Dollar Short". Nominated Musician of the year 2007.
He has been doing the smaller venues as a single act , using all his talent on the keyboard, fiddle and guitar and as the "Fiddler & His Keys".
This keyboard will give you the piano sounds of jazz and blues, the steel guitar of country, the accordion of polkas, and the trumpets of a latin mariachi band.

Crazy Hearts - 12:30 - 2PM

Crazy Hearts Bluegrass Band was formed about 3 years ago, and has been active on the local Bluegrass scene.
The group is comprised of Elisabeth (String Lissy) Pomeroy on mandolin and vocals, Denise Trudeau on guitar and vocals, Bill Bates on guitar and vocals, and James Lancaster on bass.
Their current CD, "It's Time" has been doing well. They have entertained at the Thornhaven Winery, Parks Alive in Kelowna, Canada Day in Summerland , and the Falkland, Chilliwack and Summerland Bluegrass festivals, as well providing entertaining for private functions.

You can see a video of Bill Bates performing "Wagon Wheel" right here.

Country Classics - 11:00 - Noon


The Country Classics formed a trio in the summer of 2012. Dyan Burnell, Karen Halvorsen and Janet Steiert are all members of the Westbank Country Opry.

We volunteer our time for the WCO and donate time to play for the seniors facilities from Winfield to Penticton.

All three ladies enjoy the classic country songs and do some great harmony.

Watch a video from this great trio courtesy of Westbank Country Opry here.