For 35 years I lived in the central interior of the province in Fraser Lake, a 100 miles west of Prince George. In this community I was exposed to the great history we are blessed with. The First Nation influence is very strong in that area and the European influence makes for a great study of how these cultures met and were able to get along for the past 200 years.
In Fraser Lake I was instrumental in the conception and creation of a community museum. Work involved designing the building, fund raising to build and operate the museum and going to the community in collection development of historical artifacts for display.
I moved to Cranbrook in 1998 and since my move here I have been an active member of the Baker Hill Heritage Association, the East Kootenay Historical Association and was involved with the Annual Proctor Story Telling Festival presenting historical stories relating to my family and their history in the Kootenays. I continue to participate in activities sponsored by the Baker Hill Group, now known as the Cranbrook Heritage Association. I'm a multi-term member of Cranbrook city council and organizer of story telling presentations at the annual Sam Steele celebrations.
I have a special interest in the Columbia Basin because I was born in the West Kootenays and now live in East Kootenay. Both these areas have had my family involved in their development since 1899 when my father came West to Rossland. My father and mother were both interested in local history and this has rubbed off on me.
Since I was very young I have been exposed to various parts of the Basin. For example, I remember in the early 1940's taking the S.S. Minto (sternwheeler) from Robson to Halcyon Hotsprings on the Arrow Lakes. As a young boy, riding the sternwheelers on Kootenay Lake was such a thrill. Memories of my dad, a mining man, taking me through some of the local mines as a curious youngster are forever etched in my mind.
The Basin is rich in history and hopefully I can help in some small way, to give something to it through the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.
Gerald HudsonDirector and Signing Officer
Graduated UBC with B.Ed and taught high school from 1969-1980.
Began selling real estate in Cranbrook in 1980 until retirement in 2012, including 10 years of owning and managing Cranbrook Agencies Real Estate Ltd. From 1980 through 1990 my sales volume consistently ranked in the top ten for both the East and West Kootenays.
Memberships: Currently, Christ the Servant Parish, The Kootenay Real Estate Board, B.C. Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association, Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, Director of Cranbrook Archives Museum and Landmarks Foundation (Railway Museum), Previously, Rotary International.
Founding member of the Baker Hill Residential Heritage Association, now the Cranbrook Heritage Association.
Anne Edwards has lived in Cranbrook and district for 48 years, raised four children here, worked as a journalist, a college instructor and the MLA for Kootenay. She chaired the boards of the Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation and the BC Heritage Trust, and she helped create - and later sat on the board of - the Columbia Basin Trust. She has written part or all of several books as well as various newspaper and magazine articles about the Kootenays. She enjoys as much as possible of her retirement with 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Barry BeaulacDirector and Signing Officer
Born and raised in an agricultural environment on the Canadian prairie.
20 plus years in policing with the RCMP, investigation and management.
2 years in private business - motel owner/manager.
8 years with Tourism BC as accommodation consultant throughout the east half of BC.
6 years at Fort Steele Heritage Town in various venues including collections and display development, research, interpretation, acquisition of artifacts, demonstration of horse drawn agricultural equipment as well as site interpretation to the public using horse drawn transportation.
20 years of summer volunteer interpretation at Fort Steele in the original Masonic Lodge and the original NWMP 'Officer's Quarters' display.
I have worked for the Kimberley District Heritage Society/Kimberley Heritage Museum since May 1990. In that time I have seen many changes, most notably the shrinking volunteer base. I enjoy working with the public, in particular, assisting with family histories. I find the stories of the people who shaped our community fascinating.
I was born and raised in the Kimberley area and am fortunate to have a community with such rich history. Our organization feels our partnership with the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History's Image Bank is vital as it allows a broader audience to access our history.
Employed by Tembec until retirement in 2012.
Interested in military history.
Maintains a web site concerning the gallantry awards to the 54th Kootenay Battalion WWI. A longstanding Director with the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History, assisting with research and marketing.
Dalcy Gripich (Tootie)Director
By 1908 my grandparents had all arrived in Cranbrook from Scotland and other parts of Canada. And now, over 100 years later, five generations have called Cranbrook home. Ancestor hunting is my passion and having access to resources from around the world is my obsession. With countries all over the world making heritage resources accessible via the Internet this is a genealogist's dream come true. The work being done by the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is such a great gift to researchers near and far, and something I firmly support.
I have spent many hours indexing graves, newspapers and a variety of other resources, and now I send information from these resources to all corners of the globe.
In my working life as a nurse I had a wonderful and varied career which included nursing in hospitals, doctors' offices and in the community. The stories coming from the patients was always a fascination. My work as a case manager took me into the homes of the residents of the Columbia Basin from Golden down to Creston, and into Fernie and the Elk Valley, Kimberley and Cranbrook - and spots in between. Many of the people were "home grown" and had many a tale to tell.
Now, retired I devote my time to dragon boating as a support paddler, helping others to find "lost cousins" in my role as a genealogy keener, making life more comfortable for stroke victims and participating as a member of the Cranbrook Heritage Association (we grew up on Baker Hill). I also serve as a Director for the Wasa Lake Historical Society. I am also the matriarch for my own family tree and keep the family informed of the latest happenings within the family branches, leaves, twigs and sprouts of our 'Little Lemon Tree'.
My roots were established in Cranbrook in 1905 and I expect I will be here for the rest of my time. My love for this valley never waivers.
Anna MajkowskiExecutive Director
Derryll WhiteVolunteer Historian, Founder
I am fortunate to be able to work with an energetic and visionary group of people who are committed to change. Does that sound slightly strange in a heritage group? I don't think so.
History is our window on the past, and on our own future. In the Columbia Basin, with growth and expansion happening all around us, we need to rescue the documents of the past and present them to both old and new residents. That is one way in which we can help to broaden and change the dialogue on what our future in this region will be.
All of us at the Columbia Basin Institute are committed to enabling the dialogue on our collective future by making public the facts of our past, of our regional inter-connectedness, of our landscape and economic utilization. With these facts we can then decide on positive change which preserves past values and integrates future growth.
I personally have had thirty years of working with the history of the Columbia Basin region and still find it fascinating. When we can look at organizations such as the Mountain Lumbermen's Association we begin to see the economic and social threads which bind us together from Valemount to Ymir and from Crowsnest to Comaplix. So very much of our past ties directly to the drainages of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers.
Working with other groups to form partnerships with which to present our past digitally to a wide audience is very exciting. I believe the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is on the cutting edge of publicizing our past in the most positive way. Finding methods of enhancing the existing collections, both public and private, and sharing the results in a broad fashion is satisfying work and furthers the dialogue of regional unity and development. I am proud to say that the Institute works with existing collections and does not compete for historic artifacts. We do not amass artifact collections or archives - but gather material, scan it and place it on the web site, and then return the material to the individual owner or public repository. We assist with the mandate all public institutions have to make their collections public.
My own personal interest is to see the products of our work being utilized widely in Columbia Basin educational institutions, by emerging researchers and authors, and by individuals who want to be part of the dialogue of retaining the Columbia Basin as the best place to live and raise a family. I believe that is part of the vision that we share collectively here at the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.