Face in the sky

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by Marjo Koskinen

Leading edge of a giant cloud

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banner cloud fire

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by Darcy McElveny

Expansion of Evacuation Alert for south Similkameen Valley Due to Snowy Mountain Fire
The Snowy Mountain wildfire has increased in size and BC Wildfire recommends a precautionary Evacuation Alert for the Cawston and Keremeos areas. There is the potential for burning embers to float several kilometers, sparking fires along the valley bottom. Ash and thick smoke is already visible in the Similkameen due to wildfires in the area. No properties have been evacuated at this time and residents may stay in their homes.
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre (RDOS EOC) is expanding a precautionary Evacuation Alert to 481 additional properties due to the threat of the Snowy Mountain Protected Area wildfire K51238. This precautionary Evacuation Alert includes all homes south and west of Highway 3 from 1143 Highway 3, south of Cawston, to the Fas Gas Plus service station at 3163 Highway 3, west of Keremeos. This includes selected homes within Electoral Area “B”, Electoral Area “G” and the Village of Keremeos closest to the Snow Mountain wildfire.
The Lower Similkameen Indian Band is also issuing Evacuation Alerts for their band members and residents. – Source EOC (RDOS)
Pictures taken at K and C Silviculture -south of Oliver

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Station Street- normalcy returns

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by Les Dewar

Female Western Bluebird 
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Oliver – the brand to remember

The Branding Blueprint and Usage Guide project is coming to a close. Our research and workshops are complete and we have combed through our community input.
The branding committee working closely with our contractor has renewed Oliver’s Brand Identity.
Munday Media & Design is the lead contract holder on this project. “After much work with the committee, we have created a refreshed brand to represent our community,”Tony Munday says, “The biggest change is in our tagline. For ease of communication we have updated from ‘The Wine Capital of Canada’ to ‘Canada’s Wine Capital’.
New versions of the logos have been created, the colours have been refreshed, fonts adjusted and a full set of brand standards have been created. “
See the new logos here: https://bit.ly/2OvrZWH.
A local brand launch ceremony and cake cutting will occur in front of Town Hall at 9:30 am on Thursday, August 9th. We invite the community to join us. The new brand will start appearing throughout the community over the next couple weeks. The welcome signs will be updated and new street banners will be going up showcasing the new brand and some of our communities feature events. Keep your eyes open for the launch of the new towns website,
www.oliver.ca, and the release of the new digital community photo-bank… coming soon. The brand is open to the community and the public is encouraged to use it in their promotions.
To learn more about the new brand an information booth will be set up at the Oliver Roots andFruits Expo on Saturday August 18th. Come by to learn about the identied attributes that personify Oliver, our secondary tag lines and storytelling.

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peach banner

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Smoky village

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by Jeremy Cook

Large format picture – a gift I would think

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Rural/Town divide – two days of cart pickups

Rural system – manpower needed

Town more densely populated – auto cart pickup works better but not flawless. Spotted today – some homes with garbage at front and back, overstuffed carts,  black bags (no cart) recycling bins on wrong day – with the pick truck having to go both ways on an alley to do the pickup.
Believe this method a bit slower with the time decreasing as driver get experienced with a neighbourhood.

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Heat, smoke and….rain

First part of week – quite warm with alerts on smoke/breathing and intense heat.

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Watch out – paving and re-construction projects in Oliver

Construction Works Scheduled for Fairview Bridge and Town-owned Parking Lot Fairview Bridge
On Monday, July 30th, Mackinley-Clark Paving Ltd. will begin restoration at the entrances to Fairview Road Bridge.
The works involve some asphalt milling, paving and gravel base restoration to match the paved road to the elevation of the concrete bridge approaches. The work will be completed between 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with the aid of flagging personnel to keep alternating traffic flowing on one open lane.
Unfortunately this work could not be scheduled during the Fairview Road works and the Town of Oliver thanks the motoring public for their patience as this much need repair is completed.
Main Street Parking Lot (north of Oliver Gardens)
On Tuesday, July 31st, the Main Street Parking Lot (north of Oliver Gardens) will be closed to the public while Public Works Crews start remediation on the parking lot. Works to the parking lot include leveling the surface, removing the partial concrete wall, installation of steps to Main Street, and installation of signage. While the parking lot is closed all day July 31st the lot will be closed sporadically throughout the next few weeks as works progress.
Source: Town of Oliver

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by Rick Knodel

Meeting in Oliver with LANA POPHAM, Provincial Minister of Agriculture Saturday July 28th
•We hope you will oppose the formation of a National Park Reserve in this area as it will have a devastating effect on a number of small agricultural interests. Primarily the cattle industry that relies on the current grazing rights system to survive. The reference to Saskatchewan Grasslands National Park is touted as the ability for the industry to exist within a national park but the research has revealed otherwise. To quote Greg Kornfeld one of the ranchers involved “Ranging in the national park is in no way compatible with commercial ranching operations.” The ranging is only allowed as it was found that some species at risk have the necessity of grazed land to survive, one of those is the burrowing owl. The owl can survive in antelope brush that has not been grazed. That only exists on the east side of our valley and most of that terrain here has been plowed planted or paved over for various commercial endeavors.
•Flood mitigation for protection of farming interest. As the climate changes in this area the farms are increasingly being affected by the Ministry of Forests and Environment resistance to clearing of debris and silt build up along the many creeks and stream. When on Crown land this seems to not be undertaken at all much less allowed. A program is desperately needed to undertake preventative measures. It should be added that in a national park environment this would in no way happen. When on private land this falls under a costly and very time consuming permit system which has not been working, this should be changed to a regulatory system only, to prevent abuse.
•The province needs to forcefully petition the Federal Government to uphold their share or contribution to the Gallagher lake agricultural siphon repair. A failure here is imminent and should this happen during the growing season the economic consequences would be devastating to the area. It is hoped that the Town of Oliver officials responsible for this will be able to take you for a tour of this area barring that perhaps a video tour would suffice in showing you the absolute urgency of this project.
•The low lying river channel lands are flooding more often on a regular basis. My father’s company undertook this project in the late forty’s through the fifties as a means to provide a safe and stable agricultural format for the land on the valley floor. To date I am not aware of any of the needed maintenance being undertaken. The Build to elevations of the river bed and the current bed elevations need to be measured along its length to determine if dredging is needed to return the river to a safe and stable condition. This was if my memory serves me correctly, considered to be necessary to the health of the project.
•The insistence of the Provincial and local governments to create bicycle routes along narrow heavily used agricultural roads is a recipe for catastrophe and has caused a dangerous sense of entitlement. The creation of these routes without proper warning signage and adequate enforcement is cause for great concern. At minimum the signage and enforcement needs to be established to control dangerous behavior or ideally a tax or license fee on bicycles and their events be established to fund segregated bicycle roads and remove them from the inevitable disaster.
•A large number of the farms in this area will be engulfed or have borders on the proposed national park. While it has been said that the laws pertaining to a national park can be “tweaked to fit an area” many of the necessary commercial farming practices will fall into the category of practices detrimental to the purpose of a national park and will then be governed by “practices adjacent to a national park” as described by the auditor general’s report sections 7.61 and 7.62. This will cause great hardship on these operations if not cause them to cease to exist.
•Many of these bordering or engulfed farms and ranches have water rights. Part of the agreement to form the national park is the surrendering of all water rights to the Syilx nations. That will be the end for many of these operations and that will not make for a willing seller scenario.
•The effect of crime on the farming community has become one of the highest costs to the local farms. There is an urgent need to bring the police force up to a level that will allow for 24/7 patrolling. Regular night patrolling has not been done here for many years and the consequences have cost the farmers dearly in lost and damaged equipment. That often leads to crop loss as a result. Police resources are often redirected to other purposes leaving the area inadequately or totally unpatrolled at night. There are a number of solutions being discussed and participation by the Provincial Government in these would prove valuable.
•An over population of deer is of concern in this and other areas and as sustenance hunting is becoming more necessary for many low income and working poor an expansion of the hunting season and bag limit would provide a more reasonable solution than an outright cull.
•The recent upgrading of the Provincial Fire Playbook standards has caused considerable difficulty for many small fire departments that serve rural farming communities and provide a valuable service by preventing small fires from becoming large by their quick response. The very nature of farming and livestock being rural and depending on fire prevention is making the need for help from the province desperate .Small departments serving 500 or less need help either in the form of funding or in a reduction of the standards in particular the age levels for trucks and none life supporting equipment. I might add that most of the fires attended by these departments are of a forestry nature.
•The ever growing proliferation of regulation and permitting is creating an increasing load on the small farmer. These small farms provide the diversity in crops and nationalities that has created the absolutely amazing culture of this area. Large corporate farms can absorb the abundance of regulation but cannot provide the warmth and cultural heritage that has grown as a result of the small independent farmer. I realize that asking a Government to limit and streamline the regulations it produces is like asking a lion to become vegan but it is necessary for the cultural survival of our small farms and the health of our Canadian heritage.

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North of Osoyoos

Motorhome totally gone
Location south of 176th Avenue just before Cemetery Hill

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by Dave Whalley

Drivers are advised to expect periodic delays on Highway 3, starting this week, while the existing bridge in Hedley is replaced with a new, two-lane structure.

A temporary two-lane detour will be put in place while the old bridge is dismantled and removed, and the new 26 metre-long structure is built.

Drivers can expect short delays throughout this work to improve safety and reliability. Temporary lane closures will also be required at times, due to paving and road work, resulting in single-lane alternating traffic.

The replacement project, which is expected to be completed by fall 2018, is taking place 29 kilometres west of Keremeos.

Info Source: BC Government

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Letter to the editor

In my opinion the RCMP do not provide the coverage we should be entitled to. This is, in part, because they are having trouble enlisting new Constables. My biggest concern revolves around the fact that regardless of the local Commanders meeting with Councils, the RCMP make their own decisions about which issues are their priorities and we have very little control. We have no idea what the Senior Officers in Ottawa are directing local Commanders to focus on. Decisions made in Ottawa could reflect what Ottawa believes to be important.
Local policing cannot be a ‘one policy fits all’. At present we have a Constable ‘on-call'(overnight); if we think about it, how likely is it that any Constable is going to get up and attend anything but a serious crime? It is also likely that Regional dispatch has been given latitude to filter what they believe are incidents which can wait until the next day. All I want to achieve in my poll question is for Local Government (RDOS) to at least review the benefits of creating a Regional force with the ability to direct the officers based on the direction of Directors and/or Mayors.
The other potential issues with the RCMP are capital expenditures. We have no idea if we will be on the hook for a new RCMP building; in Squamish the RCMP decided that the Public Safety Building was not large enough so they told the District they required a new structure. As I recall the District had to pay the entire cost. If Oliver can not afford the cost then Osoyoos might fill that request. If Osoyoos becomes the main detachment we can almost guarantee that police coverage in Oliver will be low on a priority list because Osoyoos already has a larger potential crime profile.
All the money which Oliver might pay for a new building could be used to fund a local detachment of regional force. It is likely the existing building would suffice.
Pat Hampson
First poll stopped at 151 votes – 56% said need more information

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New feature – Sunday Seens

Laird – where is this?

Caught working?

On beach patrol

More building – more space – PH largest in the valley?

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On the Sunnyside

Monarch Butterfly
Walking along the a hiking trail at certain times of the year a person may well spot a green-striped worm feeding on the milkweed. Repulsive, it seems. That ugly, chewing machine seems to be destructive and greedy. It hatched out of an egg attached conveniently to the underside of the milkweed plant. After being protected by the milkweed it is now eating its host. How ungrateful!
Then in fall the worm builds itself a sort of ‘coffin’, called a chrysalis, and attaches it to a twig for the winter. During that winter the worm disintegrates, almost liquefies, into a formless mass and transforms into something that emerges in spring as the beautiful Monarch Butterfly. You’d have to see that whole process happening in order to really be convinced, I’d say. What a change!!
That kind of physical transformation doesn’t happen to us as we grow physically but it can happen spiritually inside of us. We are promised in Paul’s letter to the
Corinthians that “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation…”
It’s wonderful to have that potential offered to us.
Henry Wiebe

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remedy starts jun (j30 ju5 ju12 jul22 jul 28) next aug 3

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The Steele Report

Trick Or Treat, that is the new slogan of Greyhound in the West actually from Sudbury Ontario to the Pacific Coast.
October 31st Halloween Night will be like the ride of the Headless Horseman. See that night where ever you are going to you have to find your own ride home.
All short run low volume transportation will end and it does have implications for every community. There are young people without transportation, low income people, elderly using the system to reach larger centers for specialized care and an economical transportation service that communities rely on.
So how much discussion have you heard on a large scale to deal with the problem? We didn’t deal with alternatives in transportation period. We just counted on Greyhound to keep providing service and they are bowing out.
There are alternatives we just have to plan for them and put them into practice. Asking a large company to continue losing money or having a company go on a fools errand to provide such a massive project is not viable. Pumping large sums of money into government subsidized service is not viable either.
What does that leave us with in the Valley right here right right now? It gives us an opportunity for multiple solutions and a cooperative effort. We in the Okanagan are good at cooperative projects.
The whole valley participated in the Sterile Insect Release Program that has provided us all with cleaner water and air.
We have worked together on the Okanagan Basin Water Board as well.
The first part of any plan is to provide a service through the Valley in terms of a public bus service. We could start with the purchase of some Greyhound Buses.
In addition we can begin to work on a valley wide integrated transportation plan to serve the communities needs over time think about it, bus service, light rail and park and ride. It has always struck me, why we can’t have passenger ferry service from West Kelowna and Kelowna and have a working transit system that actually addressed the riders needs.
Lets start with a valley wide bus service and have it branch out to say Grand Forks and Princeton once the bugs are worked out. At the same time we can explore and develop a transportation system that is economical and functional and reduces vehicle traffic because there is a better alternative.
People require mobility that is a given and in today’s society there is no alternative but to provide it. The sooner we embrace a solution the less pain there will be.
Greyhound made a decision that affects tourism, and winter transport to ski hills, seniors, low income riders and young people getting to and from the coast to unite families at special times like Christmas.
We need the Regional Districts, Civic Governments, the Province and the Federal Government to be part of the solution. Today is a good day to start.
Fred Steele
Some people have been asking me how to find my book on line. A book of poetry and poetic stories I had published in 2015. Readers can obtain it n line through Red Toque Books and looking up the title One Old Stately Pine or contacting me  fredsteele@shaw.ca

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by Pat Whalley

Living in our beautiful little town has so many benefits, our weather, our great community our wonderful live theatre and movie theatre, to name just a few. No wonder so many people come for a visit then move here permanently. There is just one big drawback, that of getting out of town.
When one has had the convenience of driving a vehicle for most of your life it is really difficult to lose your licence due to age, lack of good vision or illness. In town it is not a problem, we have a good variety of supermarkets, hardware stores and other services that we can manage to stay in town for most of our needs.
The recent addition of transport to Penticton has probably made getting out of town a little easier for non drivers. I have never had to rely on the new bus service so do not know how convenient it is but it is available for those who need it.
The decline of long distance transport over the past few years has made going on long trips more difficult but the devastating news that we are going to totally lose that service is a body blow to small town living.
I have used the Greyhound several times myself to go to the coast, it is a long trip but the slower journey gives lots of opportunities to see and appreciate the scenery. Once you decide to relax and get used to the slower pace of travel it is quite enjoyable. However, arriving in another small town late at night, when the depot is closed, means standing in the cold while waiting for a connection to your next destination.
However, even with the inconvenience of long waits, the bus offers a way to visit relatives or get to medical appointments safely. How are people going to manage these long distance trips without the bus being available?
We cannot blame the company, it is a business and if it is losing money then cutbacks are obviously going to happen and, if this doesn’t help then the service has to be discontinued. For many people this is going to mean that they either do not get to places they wish to go to or they have to move nearer to the desired location. It is a very sad state of affairs when we have to relocate due to this inconvenience.
Many of us “oldies” have children in other locations and those children think we need to be “looked after” as we age. For some reason they think we should live much closer to them so they can keep an eye on us. Because of their busy lifestyles they cannot visit us as often as we like so, they like us to visit them.
My daughters seem to think I am incapable of driving long distance alone and they prefer me to use the bus. Of course, I see myself in a different light but I have used this form of transport several times. The thought of moving back to a busy city so I can be “kept an eye on” is abhorrent to me. My friends and my life are here.
My husband does lots of travelling and spends several months each year in England and Scotland, visiting family and sightseeing. I do not want to spend so much time away so I stay here and we are both happy with this arrangement. However, this causes concern to our four girls who seem to see me as senile. I do not think I am losing it, well sometimes I am in my own little dream world, but I feel confident to be left to my own devices.
We are lucky to have our youngest daughter living nearby and she drops in several times each week. I know she is the family spy and reports back to our eldest daughter on a regular basis. Daughter number one is “the family organiser” and obviously feels a deep responsibility to her aging mom. I had a serious talk with her several years ago and told her this is my home and I will not go back to the coast to be looked after. This conversation took place when we decided to semi retire at age 55! Apparently she associated retiring with going into a serious decline.
I am so lucky to be loved and worried about and, as long as Dave and I keep our driving abilities, getting out of town is no problem, however the future has to be faced and it is definitely a worry as to how we are to get about as we age. A future without long distance travel is a big problem. Maybe we need to invest in a horse and buggy!

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Think about it with Joseph Seiler

To go to the shop is to go to the place I do my fixing and building work. Could be a motorcycle shop, which usually also has a store to sell new motorcycles, clothing, parts and so on. Going to the shop is quite different from going to shop. This kind of shop is to look around, gather data about my options to possibly buy. I can shop without money because I don’t actually buy anything, just shop
The Shop can be a place to hang out and be cool, like at the Malt Shop (back in the day). The Shop is where you go to shop, at least that was the idea 100 years ago. The hope was that if I were to shop, look around, that I would be tempted and convinced to buy something. Some Shops are specialized, like the Stamp Shop where stamp collectors like myself can go and find special items, not available in mercantile stores
My Mom used to anticipate Dollar Forty Nine day, a day that a particular store had all these sales and she would go shopping. She would shop all day, seeking bargains and coffee. For her to shop was to have coffee along the way. On that special day even the coffee was on sale, the refills were ten cents. She would go shopping early and come home late and do so with at least one friend. To shop can be an event
I can shop around, meaning go to different shops to check out my options to buy. I might also shop around for an answer or for a date or for a plan/idea. Shopping is comparing options. I can shop something out, meaning that I would extend an invitation to, say, make an object, to many possible makers to see what they might offer. I can declare that I am shopping for a certain item and sellers would come to me
Shoplifting is to steal things from a shop. Shop talk is yakking about our jobs. Price shopping is looking for the best price. Value shopping is trickier in that value can be subjective. Ultimately, to shop is to choose. We choose at the conclusion of shopping, usually to then buy. Do we shop for values, the human kind of values? Well, we do choose those and once chosen we nurture and grow them. Sorta similar I suppose.

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a daisy smith

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Hot and smoky weekend predicted

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Osoyoos RCMP report death

One man is dead following a motorcycle crash on Highway 3, six kilometres east of Osoyoos.
A 73-year-old Chilliwack man was travelling east on the highway Wednesday evening when he went over an embankment on a sharp curve. He was found by his family after he failed to return to their vacation home after heading out for a ride.
Police were called to the scene at 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
The matter is now in the hands of the BC Coroners Service.

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Down the aisle

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For those keeping track

A number of headlines and stories in local media this week – all quoting insiders and not Parks Canada – Note to MP – Parks Canada has an abysmal record of communicating what it is doing in this regard and speaks through people not connected directly by the government. Shame.
July 7, 2018
From: Chris Purton – SO Similkameen National Park Network
To: Supporters of the SO Similkameeen National Park Reserve
Last December I sent around a note about the ceremony at the Nk’Mip Centre where high-level representatives of the Federal Government, the Provincial Government, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance announced they would work together to create a National Park Reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.
A copy of that note is attached, in case you’ve forgotten.  It was a Big Deal. This note is just to let you know that things are actually moving in a forward direction, but slowly and carefully.  The three governments have got together to talk, several times, since the announcement, but are not yet into formal negotiations.  Parks Canada, after having had to put the project on hold and move their staff to other jobs, is gearing up again.
They have hired a project manager, Sarah Boyle, who has a lot of experience in this kind of thing  .  .  .  just recently she steered Rouge National Urban Park, which is also in a populated area, to a successful conclusion.  She will be having an office in the area, here, when things move to the next stage. 
We’re told that there will be discussions with `stakeholders’ in the fall (that includes us, the SOSNPN, as well as ranchers and helicopter companies and the like), and a survey of local residents to get their input. We feel quite positive about the way things are going.  The Federal Government is currently working on a plan to have 17% of Canada’s land and freshwater protected by 2020 (right now it’s at 10.5%) and the South Okanagan – Similkameen National Park Reserve is high on their list for helping to meet that objective.  But we intend to stay involved, to make sure we end up with the best Park that we can get.
Those of you who signed the petition that we sponsored will be pleased to know that it was very positively received when it was presented in the House of Commons.  My sense of its unusually good reception is that it came as a relief to the MPs, who in general look forward to the establishment of our Park, to see such a strong reaffirmation of local support — particularly as they’d been faced with a `NO’ petition (paltry in comparison, as it turned out) a short time before.
(email cpurton@vip.net;  tel: 250-490-8682)

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The story of a license and a lantern

Credit: George Fraser – Josie (Plaskett) Fraser and her sister in law

Between 1904 and 1912, BC motorists were required to display “a lighted lamp, or lamps … any time after dusk and before dawn … to display prominently the number of the permit issued” – i.e. their licence plate number.
The number 1743 was issued to George J. Fraser of Penticton and in (1913), the lantern came into the possession of the proprietor of the “Penticton Garage” (also believed to be the Grand Forks Garage (shown below) where the Valley 1st Credit Union office is located) and remained with his family for a century before surfacing earlier this year.

Chris Garrish of Penticton in a note to ODN says: I collect license plates and recently acquired a very unique “plate” from around 1912 when motorists were required to paint their number on the side light so people could identify the number at night. I checked to see who the number was registered to and the first entry is for a “George Fraser” who lived on Lakeshore Drive in Penticton at the time. Admittedly, I am playing a hunch but am wondering if this George Fraser might be related to the George Fraser who lives in Osoyoos.
So, I appreciate you putting me in touch with George and am hopeful that he might be able to shine some light on this (and might this other George Fraser be his grandfather and did he live in Penticton around 1911-12)

My grandfather opened a real estate and insurance office in 1941 and also became a notary public.  Sold it to TG Wilson in 1947. From his book, “The story of Osoyoos”, p. 30 & 36.
In reply George Fraser (only child of Dorothy and Douglas Fraser) of Osoyoos says: My grandparents first went to Kelowna, where my father was born, then to Penticton, and then to Osoyoos in 1917.
Lakeshore Drive sounds right – quite possible they were in Penticton during the 1911, 1912 period: My grandfather’s name was George Johnston Fraser, without the “e” on Johnston. I do know that when they moved to Osoyoos in 1917, that he drove a team pulling a wagon and stayed overnight at Fairview. That of course does not preclude him from having a car in years before that.
I have never read anything to make me believe that they brought a car to Osoyoos.

My grandfather lived in Penticton from 1910 – 1917. He obviously was interested in automobiles: in 1914 he took on the Valley agency for the sale of Studebaker cars. (He regretted this!).
With thanks Chris Garrish, George Fraser, Brian Wilson (OATS) – check links below

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Smoky Lake

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