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

Princeton man charged in thefts from volunteer fire hall

A Princeton man appeared in circuit court here February 14, facing charges… Continue reading

Plaque at Summerland Skate Park should be reconsidered

Names of all Penny Lane directors will be posted at new facility

LETTER: Stolen bike had been used in health routine

Summerland man used mountain bike for physical exercise to stave off another heart operation

Piles of debris hauled from Summerland rock slide site

Material removed from site would more than fill an Olympic swimming pool

Athletes take to the slopes for the final day of SOBC

Awards ceremony will take place this afternoon at the SilverStar Village Podium.

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read