Welcoming the future through the past was the highlight of last week’s official unveiling of the Summerland roadside marker in Trout Creek.
In 1939, two fieldstone cairns were erected at the original north and south entrances to Summerland by lumber executive John (Jack) McDonald of New Westminster.
The Lower Mainland resident fell in love with the region during regular visits to the area with his family and decided to express his appreciation through the structures.
Some time ago the Summerland Heritage Advisory Commission took on the $10,000 project to restore the two markers.
Included in the work was moving the one in Trout Creek about one kilometre north of its original location where it had been barely visible to motorists.
A special crane was used to lift the 15,000-pound rock structure to the Trout Creek tourist pullout.
Funding for the work was supplied largely through the generosity of the Summerfair Shopping Centre, owned by John McDonald’s grandson Bruce McDonald, the Amm families and other donors.
Bruce McDonald and Jack Amm, first cousin to the lumber executive, were at last week’s ceremonies.
The second marker is still located on Bentley Road, which until 1956 served as the old highway and the northern entrance into Summerland.
The markers originally featured two attractive apple-shaped signs on each side: one reading Welcome to Summerland, and the other reading Good Luck.
Replicas of the signs were created locally and installed earlier this month. The restoration work was particularly important to Bruce McDonald.
“First of all, this is simply nice to see something that I thought was gone and to have a little bit of history restored,” he said. “It is also wonderful to have this family connection, and even though I don’t live here I still feel like a part of the community and this re-enforces that.”
Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino also spoke to the small gathering, saying the community should never forget the importance of the past as they move ahead to the future.