Carl Werner celebrated his 98th birthday with family and friends at the Cherryville Hall July 27. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

‘Little buggers’ help North Okanagan man reach 98

Friends, family, neighbours gather in Cherryville to celebrate Carl Werner’s latest birthday

Time may have slowed Carl Werner’s motion, but not his mind.

Asked at his 98th birthday party at the Cherryville Hall July 27 what’s the secret to living a long life, Werner didn’t hesitate:

“Raise a bunch of kids, and let the little buggers do all the work,” Werner laughed.

Werner and his late wife, Noreen, had seven little buggers, five girls and two boys. Four of them were able to return to help Werner celebrate his special day.

Werner was the ninth of 15 kids born to Jacob and Caroline Werner, Cherryville homesteaders. He has one surviving sibling, a younger sister, Edith, who lives in Lumby and who came to the celebration.

Born in Vernon Jubilee Hospital July 27, 1920, Werner has lived all of his life in the Cherryville area. He made it as far as Grade 8 in school, then “worked like hell for a living.”

“I ran sawmills and did logging and farming,” said Werner. “We worked for the farmers, mostly, doing everything them days. In them days, the farmer had to everything. I worked on grain and dairy farms and did the milking. I had my own dairy farm later.

“I wasn’t getting paid very much. I milked 20 cows and my cheque was $43 after taxes. We had some pretty tough times back in the early 1930s.”’

After getting married and having kids, Werner focused on logging and operating a sawmill around the Lumby area. He trained for the Second World War but never saw action.

He loves hunting and fishing and has operated a trap line pretty much all of his 98 years, trapping mostly martens and some squirrels.

Werner did some guiding in the region, taking American visitors out.

He voluntarily gave up his driver’s licence at 97, just a few years after returning (as a passenger) from a family trip to the Arctic Circle. He still goes camping eastbound and down on Highway 6 to Whatshan Lake near Fauquier. He carries on a family tradition, picking bucket upon bucket of huckleberries, which are turned into jam, pies and mixed in pancake batter.

Werner was also a musician, playing dances in the original Cherryville Hall or a barn dance to celebrate the building of the new structure. He picked away on guitar and banjo, and also played the violin.

For Werner, there’s no better place than The Richlands, the area he grew up in and has lived his entire life. An area he wrote a song about, called The Richlands. Family members had the original tape recording of Werner singing his original composition and played it over a slideshow titled ‘Pa,’ played at his birthday party.

Close to 60 people were on hand to help Werner celebrate No. 98, family, neighbours and friends. It made him feel good to be celebrated.

For Werner, there’s no place like home.

“There’s no better area,” he said. “It’s been good to me. If I was younger I’d do a few things different but there’s nothing wrong (with) this area. I learned to love everybody and I still love everybody.”


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Princeton RCMP out in full force this weekend

Princeton RCMP are determined everyone will have a safe and lawful Victoria… Continue reading

Penticton Indian Band councillor trying for federal seat

Joan Phillip acclaimed as NDP candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Most long-weekend rain has already fallen

A mix of sun and cloud is expected for the last two days of the the Victoria Day weekend.

Update: Mother dead, youth in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandy Point Campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Three RDOS members named to SILGA board

Executives appointed at convention in Penticton earlier this month

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read