Learn a little about your home: The Bernaus contribute to the development of Lake Country

They helped establish the Lake Country Museum and the Women’s Institute

Bernau is one of the many great family names of Lake Country. When Hugh Bernau was young it was expected he would follow in his father’s footsteps, however, he had his own plans in life.

In 1929, Hugh made his way to Winfield after spending two years in Monte Creek. He worked on an orchard making $5 a day when he first arrived. Hugh eventually met the daughter of Northcote and Mabel Caesar, Winnifred, at a cricket match. She became his wife and they were married for more than 60 years. The two lived in Okanagan Centre their entire marriage. Winna lived her entire life on the Sundial Ranch.

They both died at the age of 89, April 1997 and September 1994 respectively.

READ MORE: Learn a little about your home: Oyama settlers after the First World War

Hugh and Winna received several commendations from Environment Canada. In 1937, they took over a service for long-term temperature and precipitation recording. Northcote Caesar had started the project in 1931.

Measurements were taken twice daily, and they performed the service for at least 50 years. Both Hugh and Winna were substantially involved within the community. Winna contributed greatly towards the development of the Lake Country Museum. She was also an adamant supporter of women’s rights as part of the Okanagan Centre Women’s Institute.

The couple had two daughters and a son: Daphne, Anne and Wayne. Their history also lives on through grandchildren.

By Lake Country Museum guest blogger Jacob Semenuik. Every week, the Lake Country Calendar will publish a column highlighting our community’s past.

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