George Ryga’s legacy should continue

A glorious celebration was held on George Ryga’s 81st birthday, on Saturday afternoon, July 27, at his former home on Caldwell Road.

by Keith Ferlin

A glorious celebration was held on George Ryga’s 81st birthday, on Saturday afternoon, July 27, at his former home on Caldwell Road.

Through the gracious invitation of the new owner of the Ryga heritage house, Dianne Hiebert, the George Ryga Cultural Society brought together friends and family of the late writer to share in music, stories, good food and wine.

We all felt George’s spirit as we gathered in the lower garden, now lovingly tended to by Ryan Hiebert, Dianne’s son.

What a blessing that Dianne had the vision and courage to undertake the required repairs and upgrades that were beyond the resources of the Society and to embrace the spirit of the property that first captivated George and Norma back in 1962.

As we sat around reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones, I felt a return of the spirit that was once a hallmark of gatherings at the Rygas’ home. This collaborative spirit with which George approached life and work had its roots  in his Depression-era upbringing in the scattered farming community of Athabasca.

Then I thought how good it would be to extend his approach to our own community in Summerland.

If we all could provide support to the efforts of various volunteer groups ­such as the Philosophers Café,  Good Will Shakespeare, the Friends of the Library or the Ornamental Gardens, the Art Gallery, to mention but a few — how much richer all our lives would be? That’s why I’d like to see George Ryga’s birthday observed around each July 27 with a festival celebrating him and our living artists.

The proceeds from the sale of the house now allow the Society to help fund such new initiatives for Ryga Week, and to continue support for the long-established  George Ryga Book Awards.

The Ryga Society looks forward to working with various groups to celebrate the contribution George Ryga made to Canadian culture and to keep alive his progressive humanitarian legacy.

Keith Ferlin is the president of the George Ryga Cultural Society.

 

Just Posted

Choral Extravaganza brings valley choirs together

Sunday concert features six choirs singing together

Visiting Vees pound West Kelowna Warriors

The Vees got hat tricks from two players en route to an 11-3 win

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Remembering road crash victims in Kelowna

World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims takes place Sunday in Kelowna

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Choral Extravaganza brings valley choirs together

Sunday concert features six choirs singing together

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Biosphere designation boosts national park drive

Certification outlines conservation as key part of sustainable tourism development

Most Read