Bob Hayes and other volunteers have produced a series of pamphlets about little-known Central Okanagan cemeteries.
little-known Central Okanagan cemeteries.
History buffs and those who take an interest in genealogy have worked to produce the booklets, which cover small graveyards from Peachland to Oyama.
"I just think everyone deserves to have something recorded about their lives," Bob Hayes, a member of the Okanagan Historical Society, said.
"These people might not have been among the movers and shakers, but they were part of community life in the Central Okanagan," Hayes said.
He and other volunteers spent months on the project.
The work included visiting the small cemeteries, and photographing and recording information on all the tombstones.
The pamphlet on the old Winfield cemetery, which was in use up until the 1930s, is a more
detailed affair. It includes a short biography of many of the people buried there, with the information coming from newspaper obituaries, family members or the Lake Country Museum.
The booklets don't cover the City of Kelowna cemetery or privately owned graveyards. Those are large, well-managed operations, Hayes says, with good records on everyone buried there.
"We concentrated on the smaller cemeteries, some of which might be in jeopardy in the long-run," Hayes said. Risks include disintegrating wooden burial markers, and the chance that records might be lost one day.
The booklets cover cemeteries in Peachland, Westbank, Oyama, Winfield, Gellatly Bay and small cemeteries in Kelowna established decades ago by various churches.
A final, yet-to-be completed pamphlet in the
series will focus on even smaller, more isolated cemeteries which may contain the graves of only a few people.
A small cemetery used by the Postill family near Duck Lake includes the oldest known tombstone in the Central Okanagan.
It sits above the grave of Edward Postill, who died in 1872.