Don Burnett’s mom and her class in the Mission Creek School. - Image contributed

Burnet: Family entrenched in Kelowna

In 1934 another family moved to Kelowna: This one from Calgary.

Last week I ended my Burnett family story with my dad and grandpa building their first greenhouses through the 1930’s changing the name of the business from A. Burnett to A. Burnett and Son Greenhouses.

In 1934 another family moved to Kelowna: This one from Calgary. My maternal grandparents Leigh and Helen Henderson with their three youngest, Evelyn (my mom) Harold and Kathleen (Kay) came down the lake on the SS Sicamous landing in Kelowna in December of that year.

Grandpa Henderson was a dental mechanic and set up shop in the basement of their new home on Sutherland Ave. right beside the large brick home of the Harvey family.

The family joined the congregation at the 1st United Church and that’s where my mom and my dad first met at a young people’s get together.

From what I can gather it was mom who became fond of dad’s wonderful tenor voice filling the church from the choir loft and the rest is history.

At the time, my mom was teaching school after completing Grade 12 at Kelowna High School with the four other students in the 1934 graduating class and then two years at the Vancouver Normal School.

While in Vancouver mom stayed with her Aunt Lou, my grandmother’s sister in North Vancouver.

The Normal School was on Cambie and 10th right across from the brand-new city hall so each morning she would need to catch the street car at Lonsdale then a ferry across the water and another street car to the school with the same process at the end of the day.

My Aunty Kay did the same thing a few years later.

Harold joined the armed forces and was able to achieve his doctorate in dentistry while with them. Mom’s first teaching engagement was at Shuswap Falls near Lumby.

Next, she was hired to teach at the Mission Creek School on the corner of KLO and Benvoulin.

After a respectable courtship mom and dad were married in August of 1942. A year later the first of the Burnett children was born: Eve Lynn Kathleen.

During this time, A. Burnett and Son Greenhouses was growing in leaps and bounds.

As well as vegetable bedding plants, it was now supplying Kelowna gardeners with annual flowering plants.

My dad told me a story once of the first flower seeds they ordered from Stokes Seed Company of St. Catharines, Ontario.

When grandpa opened a package of Lipstick Petunia seeds he was surprised at how small they were, only filling a tiny corner of the seed pack, and in order to be sure he got his value, proceeded to count every seed on the kitchen table using a magnifying glass.

He had a little Scot’s blood in him.

Through the forties a few more greenhouses were built and grandpa sold the lots on the west side of the property along Aberdeen Street.

These sold for $100 each with the corner lots going for $150. With that huge influx of cash he was able to take a trip to California to see all the vast vegetable farms and bring back ideas to improve the Burnett operation.

Well I’ve run out of space again so there will be more next week along these lines. I promise before long I will get back to gardening topics.

Listen to Don Burnett and Ken Salvail every Saturday Morning from 8am to 10am presenting the Garden Show on AM 1150 now in its 34th year.

Just Posted

Community Leader Awards: Anja Dumas

The Kelowna Capital News puts the spotlight on community leaders with annual awards

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Blowing snow, slippery sections on Okanagan Connector

Compact snow, poor visibility on Highway 97 from Pennask Summitt to Brenda Mines.

IH adds immunization clinic Sunday in Kelowna

Drop-in meningococcal vaccination clinic on today at Community Health & Services Centre

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Fire crews investigating oil sheen on Penticton Creek

Fire crews are working to contain the oil from spreading

UBCO prof tests software to help cancer patients

Program may help those reluctant to engage ‘tough conversations’ in advance care planning

Broken de-icer delays flights at Kelowna airport

Passengers were on board for three hours Sunday waiting for departure to Vancouver

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Well-known Canadian bird making a comeback

Once on the brink of extinction, the peregrine falcon no longer considered at risk in Canada.

Suzuki: Shine a light during dark times

People need to remain positive despite difficult and unpredictable political climate

Most Read