Rotary sets the table to salute Penticton’s pioneers

Annual Rotary Pioneers Reception will be held Sunday at Seniors Drop-In Centre

The city’s past movers and shakers will be  honoured again this year at the annual Rotary Pioneers Reception.

Sponsored by the service club since 1946 the event takes place Sunday from 2-4:30 p.m. at the Seniors Drop-In Centre on South Main Street.

“The Rotary Club was established in 1931 in Penticton and is one of the founding organizations that has helped in its own way with the building of Penticton,” said the club’s reception committee chairman Ken Davis.

“At the time, members felt we should be recognizing and thanking those people who have contributed each in their own individual way.”

Those people include politicians, developers, farmers, orchardists and even the 1955 World Champion Penticton Vees.

“It was just sort of anything at all that we felt was a big benefit to the community,” said Davis. “I mean many of them were also just volunteers who did the kinds of things that helped.”

This is Rotary’s longest running continuous event.

Originally, the reception — pioneers are generally regarded as people over the age of 65 and having lived in the region for 50 years or more — as a men-only event however that changed a few years later.

Last year, over 250 attended the afternoon gathering and the chairman expects at least that many again on Sunday.

“It’s just a great big fun event and it’s just a wonderful thing to see the expressions on their (pioneers’) faces,” said Davis. “We expect many of the people will be nearly 100 years old so there will be a lot of stories.”

As in the past, the oldest man and woman at the reception will be recognized.

Rotary members will be dressed in their “finest serving attire” to hand out the refreshments and snacks to the special guests.

Elected officials will also be on hand to take part.

The reception is open to the public and is free of charge.