The Greater Vernon Museum Association has been an active participant in Museum Week, with events conducted on social media. (File photo)

Museum Week celebrates North Okanagan history

Vernon museum is showcasing historic women from Vernon

This week has been #MuseumWeek, a worldwide cultural event taking place exclusively across social media.

The purpose of this program is to feature various themes such as exploration, photography and play, and the Greater Vernon Museum Association has been an active participant.

With a different hashtag each day, the week (May 13-19) kicked off with the theme #WomenInCulture.

Tuesday focused on listing the curtain and showing audiences what happens behind the scenes with the #SecretsMW.

Wednesday’s theme, #PlayMW, has a focus on “play” and interaction with audiences.

Thursday’s hashtag #RainbowMW, celebrates peace by encouraging LGBTQ awareness.

Lastly, today (Friday) will see #ExploreMW and will focus on exploration and pushing boundaries.

Seeing as Women in Culture was a main focus this week, the Vernon museum is showcasing several of the city’s historic women.

Vernon has been, and continues to be, home to many women. This week, GVMA showcases three such women: Hilda Cryderman, Anna Cail, and Sveva Caetani.

Hilda Cryderman was born and raised in Vernon, and became a school principal at the age of 19.

During World War Two, she served as an educational counsellor for the women’s forces in the Pacific Command.

In 1954, she became the first female president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.

As chair of the Okanagan Valley Teachers’ Association, she obtained equal pay for male and female teachers. In addition to being an elected MP, a musician, a social activist and a teacher, Cryderman participated in 30 community organizations.

In 1985, her lifetime achievements were recognized when she was presented with the Order of Canada, the country’s second highest civilian distinction.

Related: Local women should be honoured

Born in 1911, Anna Cail was a well-loved Vernon teacher and coach who worked alongside her famous father Clarence Fulton.

At the start of the Second World War, Cail joined the Red Cross Corps (Voluntary Aid Detachment), nursing and teaching wounded soldiers.

After she retired from teaching in 1976, she continued to be an active community member.

She was one of the original members of Vernon’s heritage advisory committee that strove to document and protect the city’s heritage building.

She was also heavily involved in the Vernon chapter of the International Peace Committee.

Cail was also a truly caring individual, frequently visiting those in nursing homes or the hospital, and taking the housebound to community events.

In 1990, she received the North Okanagan Good Citizen Award for her years of community service.

Related: Artist makes a long journey home

Sveva Caetani’s art reflects the personal journey she underwent while imprisoned behind the walls of her family’s Pleasant Valley home.

Born in Italy in 1917, Caetani immigrated to Vernon with her parents Leone and Ofelia. Her carefree childhood came to a devastating end with the death of her father, Leone, in 1934.

Physically and mentally fragile, and distraught by his death, Ofelia then imposed a seclusion on herself and daughter for more than 25 years.

After her mother passed away in 1960, Caetani was finally able to resume painting, a hobby her mother had strictly forbade.

At the age of 72, her hands crippled by arthritis, Caetani completed a stunning series of 56 massive watercolours, titled Recapitulation.

Related: Exhibit details Vernon’s First World War efforts

Related: SilverStar Museum goes back in time with new stories

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