Did Naramata inspire a national peace monument? That’s the conclusion of amateur Naramata historian Craig Henderson and the topic of a story he will tell at next Sunday’s annual general meeting of the Naramata Heritage Museum.
Henderson came across an autobiography of Rev. George Fallis, best known for his campaign to build the non-denominational Canadian Memorial Chapel in Vancouver.
Fallis, a Methodist minister and military chaplain, had witnessed the horrors of war and singlehandedly led a campaign to successfully raise money for a peace monument.
The chapel is the only place outside of the Peace Tower in Ottawa that the Books of Remembrance are on public display. The volumes contain the names of all Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in war. Henderson believes that the inspiration for fundraising began with Naramata years prior to the war.
“As a young parson, Fallis arrived in Penticton in 1908 and part of his charge was Naramata. Town founder John Moore Robinson encouraged Fallis to embark on a national fundraising tour to build a village church, soliciting funds from people who had purchased Naramata land but had not yet moved. Kettle Valley Railway chief engineer Andrew McCulloch, one of Fallis’ Penticton parishioners, arranged for a CPR train pass for the mission, according to the autobiography,” said Henderson will tell more details of the story after the general meeting.
The meeting on Oct. 19 is open to the public and starts at 2 p.m. at the Naramata OAP Hall.