Keith Ferlin, in justifying putting George Ryga’s house up for sale, says Summerland was never going to embrace the Ryga Centre.
I once joined the society, made a donation and said I’d like to help in any way. I never heard back. Not a thank-you, never an AGM notice, nothing.
When, a bit miffed, I left a message to Ken Smedley asking for a tax receipt (as the society said on its website it would give for charitable donations,) I again never received a reply nor a receipt.
A couple of years ago, at a public meeting to rally community support to stop Okanagan College from moving Ryga’s house to Vernon, I recounted my previous experience with the society.
Peter Hay, who had just moved to Summerland, nodded his head to suggest he had heard that story before and asked everyone to give the society another chance. So I joined on the spot and made another donation. And never heard back.
To me, the sale of Ryga’s house does not represent a failure of the people of Summerland to embrace the Ryga Centre; it represents the unwillingness or inability of a small clique to share their memory of George Ryga with the next generation and the wider community. Such a shame.