Letter: Council turns back on Kelowna history

[Fintry Queen] was an encouraging incentive and an asset to Kelowna’s tourism industry.

To the editor:

As I read Kelowna city council’s position on the Fintry Queen, it is most disturbing.

In appearances council attempts to close the door on [the ship’s] resurrection and maintaining its Kelowna presence. However the underlying message appears to be more with its owner Andy Schwab and not the Fintry Queen’s historical value and appreciation to our city.

Mayor Collin Basran is prepared to ignore the fact that it has been a fixture and part of Kelowna’s history for 66 years. Few of us had the opportunity to utilize it as a transport ship for vehicles, but most remember the Fintry Queen as a pleasurable and relaxing journey on and around Okanagan Lake, not only for local residents but a strong attraction for tourists and film crews.

Being housed at Kelowna’s downtown entrance to Okanagan Lake, was an encouraging incentive and an asset to Kelowna’s tourism industry.

Kelowna has stepped up to the plate many times over the years to preserve heritage sites and has always been prepared to do so willingly. which is most commendable. But for reasons that appear to be more petty than realistic, they are prepared to send a part of Kelowna history to Penticton or anywhere else for that matter.

However, Mayor Basran appears to be projecting his reasoning and views based on the decisions and actions of the former city council and giving the impression that his leadership does not reflect a new council and era.

We are all aware that there are funds available for the preservation of Kelowna’s history—both past and present—and for some reason this does not pertain to our magnificent Fintry Queen and its continued presence in Kelowna.

For shame! Where are the other city councillors who believe strongly in the historical significance of the Fintry Queen and it’s historical value to our city.

Andy Schwab is a responsible Kelowna citizen attempting to preserve history who unfortunately finds himself in need of support, not condemnation.

Go back to the drawing board councillors, make an offer of purchase and slowly restore the Fintry Queen to its former condition, instead of creating a pseudo  excuse because you are at odds with its present owner. Allow the citizens of Kelowna to once again enjoy a relaxing cruise on Lake Okanagan.

 

Arlene Gaal, Kelowna