Uncle Harry would be pleased.
Harry Weatherill who, almost 100 years ago watched the Canadian National Railway construction, helped complete and enhance the Okanagan’s infamous rail trail.
It was Weatherill’s wish to provide funds for a recreational facility for members of the public and for senior citizens in the Okanagan Valley. The Okanagan pioneers nephews helped make that wish come true through a generous donation from the Edna, Stella and Harry Weatherill Foundation.
The donation funded three interpretive sites on the trail:
- Kelowna: (KM 40) Carney Pond observant deck
- Lake Country: (KM 23) Ribbleworth Falls bridge
- Regional District of North Okanagan: (KM 3.7) Kalamalka Lake benches
Site preparations began in spring 2019 with rough grading, installation of fencing and applications for required permits. Work on the interpretive sites finished in October 2020 with the installation of site furnishings.
“Cyclists, hikers, parents and caregivers with strollers, and dog walkers have already been enjoying the opportunity to take a break, enjoy the view and learn something new presented on the interpretive signage at the sites,” the District of Lake Country said.
Weatherill, a true Okanagan pioneer, was born in Kelowna in 1911 and later grew up in Vernon.
As a child, Harry watched the CN Railway being built. He recalled that the decision of the Canadian National Railway to bring a rail line into Kelowna was one of the major events of the early 1920s and, now his name is connected to the rail line once again.