The Jan. 18 edition of the Summerland Review included two views, one an article and one an editorial, about the controversial vintage gas pump.
The article states that the pump is a part of Summerland’s past while the editorial questions its historical importance.
Who determines what is a significant part of Summerland’s history and what is just a neat old piece of junk?
In my opinion, the pump represents a milestone in Summerland history.
To the orchardists it meant fuel for the new-fangled trucks that could get fruit to the packing houses faster and more efficiently than horses and wagons.
Children no longer had to walk through blizzards (uphill both ways) to get to school; they could ride on benches enclosed in the back of a truck.
As automobiles became more common, a trip to Penticton no longer took an entire day or more and locals could fuel up here, reducing the risk of running out of gas before reaching their destination.
Looking 100 (or less) years into the future, I can picture an electric car charging station (another Summerland milestone) displayed beside the gas pump; two artefacts exhibiting the modern technology of their eras.
Our great grandchildren will be able to see and touch the actual relics and marvel at how their ancestors survived with such limited technology.
Technically, as of today, yesterday is Summerland’s past. Right now, the onus is on us to preserve our history. It’s important that we choose wisely.
Ruth ten Veen