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

LETTER: Refine it where you mine it

Why not refine oil sand resources where they are mined?

LETTER: Slow down to save fuel and money

Many motorists observed speeding along Highway 97

Oliver arena celebrates anniversary with Montreal Canadiens alumni game

Players have the chance to play with or against the Montreal Canadiens alumni

UPDATE: Sagmoen to stand trial

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

COLUMN: Finding the joy during the holiday season

For some, instead of joy and cheer there is sadness, loneliness, even depression at Christmas

More snow to kick off the week

The Okanagan and Shuswap will see a light dusting of snow Monday night

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read