The Rotary Pioneer Tea has become a tradition in Summerland, honouring our senior citizens.
This year it was held at the Summerland Legion on Saturday afternoon, with over 60 seniors attending.
The tables were beautifully decorated in a red and white theme, in celebration of Canada’s 150 years of Confederation.
On the tables there were 24 framed black and white photographs of Summerland in the early days, donated by the Summerland Museum.
These were given out as door prizes during the afternoon.
The Summerland Seniors Centre was the sponsor of the event and their marketing manager Sharon Lusch was the chairperson of the organizing committee, which also included, Lucille Scheidl, Chantelle Meriam, Lisa Jaager and Carol Van Balkom.
Preston Mott was the emcee for the afternoon.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to visit with old friends and make new acquaintances,” he said. “We would like to celebrate all of you as our honoured guests and we thank you very much for coming.”
Alyson Lindsay introduced the servers from the SADI Youth Club. They were Kyle Walker, Karter Wilms, Elliott Birds, Angus Hume, Josiah Baran, Ryan Burian, Sam Hume, Tirel Yost, Jordyn Birds, Antonio Hanson and Nikki Blair.
“It’s wonderful that we have our young people of Summerland to look after us not so young people,” said Mott. “It’s so nice to know our young people are vigorous, active, happy, good people.”
Other young ones who were introduced to the seniors were Miss Rotary, Katie Portman and the two students from the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, Josiah Baran and Bailey Johnson.
Mott also thanked fellow Rotarian Roch Fortin and his sons Luke and Sam for helping out at the function.
The Legion was acknowledged for providing the building and the ladies of the United Church were thanked for providing the sandwiches.
David Gregory provided a slide show presentation on the history of Summerland and he explained how it tied in with the confederation of Canada.
In his address to the seniors, MLA Dan Ashton said,
“Between Penticton and Summerland I’ve seen the incredible growth and development that people like yourselves who have been the pioneers of this area have made and it’s made a huge difference for people like myself and my family that came to both of the communities…It’s an absolute pleasure to call these places home, so thank you for everything you’ve done.”
Mayor Peter Waterman brought best wishes from the municipality of Summerland saying, “I’d like to wish you all a great time today at this special tea for you. It’s a pleasure to be here.”
The highlight of the afternoon was when Mott presented the two “most mature, wise, knowledgeable,” Summerland citizens in attendance, with a gift.
Audrey Layton was named the most mature lady. She was born in 1920. Her maiden name was Steuart, a well- known pioneer family of Summerland.
Layton got a few laughs from the audience during her acceptance speech.
“I don’t know what to say because I don’t do this kind of thing,” she said. “It’s very nice to come. I come every year and this will probably be the last.”
Dr. David McIntosh, who was born in 1919, was named the most mature gentleman in the room.
“Most of us have known Dr. McIntosh for many years and we are honoured to have you here, my good sir,” said Mott. “Dr. McIntosh was a research scientist at the Research Station in Summerland for 36 years and he lived in Trout Creek. He’s been an absolutely wonderful person in Summerland and we’re so proud of you.”
Graciously accepting the accolades, Dr. McIntosh said, “Thanks very much and I am very pleased to be here after all this time. My vision is impaired and my wife tells me that I can’t hear her when she tells me something and I carry a cane because I am a little wobbly, but it’s a treat to be here and enjoy this party for all these pioneers.”
The afternoon was a huge success and people left with potted primulas from the tables, and bagged cupcakes and goodies, looking forward to next year’s Rotary Pioneer Tea.