History & Importance
The facility is close to public transit and has free off-street parking. It’s wheelchair accessible and easy for everyone to access.
Find schedules and maps for how to reach the Schubert Centre online at BC Transit or over the phone at 250-545-7221.
Its History and Importance to the Community of Vernon, B.C. Canada
The word “Community” has various dictionary meanings: One being “a fellowship of interests” This certainly applies to the Schubert Center explaining not only reasons for its continued existence in the Year 2003 but also why it came to be.
Among the first non-aboriginal settlers in British Columbia was a group of pioneers called the Overlanders who in 1882 travelled west by Red River carts from Fort Garry (later called Winnipeg) In this group were Caroline & James Armstrong (Augustus? Both these names are used in various historic records) Schubert and their three children. James A Schubert had been born in St Paul, Minnesota on March 7, 1860. When a few months old, he and his family fled to Fort Garry to escape Indian raids then occurring in America as such original inhabitants tried to regain their lost ancestral land It was here that he later joined the Overlanders.
The Overlanders believed they could trek to B. C. in two months, but it took four months to cross Canada. Like many pioneers of that era, they could not conceive the vastness of Canada. They endured extremes of frigid weather and difficult terrain. and were near starvation and complete exhaustion as they entered British Columbia by way of the Yellowhead Pass.
Their mode of transport was mainly by oxen-drawn cart, but also often by raft. Some men died crossing turbulent rivers and snow-covered mountains, and many almost starved when game was scarce. Part of the group went on to the gold fields (the main reason for the western trek) but some, including the Schuberts, decided to travel south by raft to Fort Kamloops. They arrived there on October 14, 1862, exhausted and near starvation. It was then that Mrs. Schubert gave birth to a baby girl whom they named Rose.
She is believed to be the first white child born in the B.C. Interior. The birthing was assisted by an indigenous woman from a nearby tribe also said to have been “with child”.
Rose died in 1942 at age eighty.
The Schuberts lived in Lillooet and the Cariboo before moving to the Spallumcheen area where they settled in 1874 In 1881 James A Schubert, after apprenticing for a short time with a building firm in Victoria, preempted land where Armstrong now stands.
In the early l880’s he drove the stagecoach from Kamloops to Okanagan Mission-an often-hazardous endeavor. After years of exposure to the winter chill and the dusts of summer, he contracted tuberculosis and was forced to go to California to recover.
He moved to Vernon upon his return where he built his first house on what is now Schubert Street. The house stood near the former “Gateby” owned by a Miss Yeatman.
A condition of sale of that time was that the names Schubert and Gateby be retained, and these facilities still bear their names.
James Schubert may have also been instrumental in naming the city of Vernon, then known as Priest’s Valley. He suggested the name should be changed to Vernon to honor the Vernon brothers who had large holdings here and were men he respected.
Shortly thereafter his health failed once more. After recovering, he moved to Penticton in 1902 (?)to open that settlement’s second general store. Late when the Hedley mine opened, he moved there to build a large department store/post office, which burned down in 1914.Ten years later he moved to Tulameen to open a store and do placer mining nearby. Later in the 1930’s he became interested in cattle breeding, but this indirectly led to his death on March 17, 1938 at age 78 when he died attempting to stook hay.
It is obvious by the history of these early pioneers that the Okanagan Valley owes much to their vision and capabilities as they built for the future we now know. Life was rugged, challenges were demanding but their endurance and drive were immense.
NOR ARE THE WOMEN OF THOSE EARLY DAYS TO BE FORGOTTEN
The trek to the West was not easy for anyone, but it was especially hard for women. Children and youth might have thought the journey to be an extended picnic. Mothers and Fathers did not!
Everything from cooking, washing, making, and mending clothes, making soaps, salves and giving medical attention when needed, fell to the women. Many chores considered men’s work were also often part of their responsibilities. “In fact, little could have been done in the settling of our country if not for our pioneer mothers” (“Tapestry”)
Women had to make do with whatever they managed to hang onto over the rugged several thousand miles traveled. They also were often obliged to continue “men’s work” when reaching their final destination. To assist in ploughing fields, digging cellars, erecting fences, tending livestock – all might be included as part of their chores. This was more so when men were hunting, mining or had been maimed or even killed in some sad accident.
Unbelievably old prejudices, rigid gender roles and racism ran deep. Women travelling alone suffered most if they had children, but all learned to ingeniously juggle the myriad of chores. A woman who managed to keep a chicken or two alive all across the prairies was blessed with food for her family and its eggs were used as a valuable trading commodity.
Women also brought beauty with them. Many roots of lilacs and roses now growing in our communities were carried lovingly across the vast distances. They also had carefully packaged and brought much loved trinkets which often reluctantly had to be cast aside when roads became impassable, and loads had to be lightened. Such keepsakes also were often used for barter. They used every available piece of cloth remnant to create beautiful quilts, blankets, curtains, and clothing. “The Lives our “fore-mothers” lived is part our heritage and is reflected in many things we still enjoy today (“Tapestry”)
The Schubert family and its many members have influenced the Okanagan for over 100 years.
WHEN VERNON CHANGED NAMES TO NUMBERS
There was some local controversy when it was decided to use numbers rather than names for streets and avenues then being done in other communities. Before then the present 32nd Avenue, bad been named to honor James Schubert and family. He had driven the stagecoach at one time which also carried the mail and is said to have been responsible for the first post office in Vernon. As with many other early pioneers their names were given to streets etc. James Armstrong Schubert and family have been so honored and also by the naming of the Schubert Centre.
Fortunately, many names of early residents were later retained on signage. Such names still retain memories for many people. Their use helps aid the continuity of a community’s history not only for the elderly but also for their descendants. For example: Tronson Rd, MacDonald Park, Polson Park, O”Keefe Ranch Heritage Site, et al. (Reference “The History of Vernon 1867-1937 E. Oram 1985 ISBN 969217)
STRUCTURE AND PURPOSE
The Schubert Centre Society was incorporated under the Society Act on April 12, 1988
Its purpose was to:
- Supply services for the educational, cultural and recreational benefit of Vernon and District’s citizens, in particular the senior citizens of the local area.
- To receive charitable donations of any kind or description.
- To operate and manage said services for the benefit also of infirm and handicapped persons.
- To cooperate with other organizations with similar objectives
- Should the Center dissolve at some future time, any and all assets, after costs are met, shall be given to the Greater Vernon Parks and Recreational District, or to the City of Vernon; or to some charitable organization (s) as may be designated by the Board of Directors of that time.
- The-Society’s operations are to be carried on chiefly within the City of Vernon and its environs Both (4) and (5) are unalterable.
Should the Society adopt a system of indirect or delegate voting, or voting by mail, all resolutions must receive at least 75% of the cast votes in favor of any proposed resolution.
The Society has two classes of membership, namely Active and Honorary Life Members
ACTIVE MEMBERS are those who became members in accordance with agreed-to bylaws, whether in the initial setting up of the Society or subsequently became members as years passed.
Any person who applies for membership and is accepted under the Society’s Constitution shall become a member upon payment of the appropriate fee. Any change in fees shall be determined by directors and members in good standing at the Annual General Meeting.
Any person shall cease being a member by delivering or mailing a written resignation to the Board. If a member has not been in good standing for a year, or by other preventions cannot participate further, they are deemed no longer a member. If the Society expels a member, the reason for so doing must be in writing and said person be given an opportunity to be heard at the general meeting prior to the Special Resolution being voted upon.
Honorary Members are those who have been members in good standing for several years (as determined by active members) and need no longer pay annual fees.
In other matters, the Society conforms to that of most similarly incorporated societies. Every general meeting is held at the time and place designated by the Board and if needed, special or extraordinary meetings may be called at its discretion. If, by some omission, a member entitled to receive a notice of upcoming meetings, does not receive it, this does not invalidate the meeting.
The first AGM was held not later than 15 months after the date of incorporation and each year following is called at intervals of not more than 15 months. A quorum IS 10% OF THE MEMBERS AND NOT LESS THAN 15 MEMBERS “IN GOOD STANDING” MUST BE PRESENT AT THE MEETING. If no quorum is present within 30 minutes of starting, the meeting is deemed invalid and must be re-called.
Original signatories of the incorporation certificate of March 15, 1988 were:
Constance Irene Dobie
Carl Joseph Dumont
Francis Myles Williamson
Constance Edith Cross
Arthur Gilbert Seabrook
PROGRAMS Throughout each year, certain celebratory days or events are recognized: Such as Valentine’s Day, Winter Carnival Celebrations, Volunteer Appreciation Day, St Patrick’s Day, pre-Christmas celebrations Mothers’ Day et al. A special luncheon is held the last Friday of the month to honor those with birthdays during that month. A Pancake Breakfast/Flea Market is held once monthly on a Saturday morning. (The Flea Market tables are rented for a reasonable fee by the specific marketers of the day and are a popular addition to the Center’s agenda, for it also allows the more creative members or renters to display their creations.
Nor is the urge to see new vistas or have new experiences been neglected through the years. Van trips are there for those who wish to travel in the Schubert Center van, with a competent volunteer driver. Fees for such trips are minimal, if not free entirely, with only the commercial destination venues requiring a monetary and reasonable outlay.
The trips can range as far afield as Kamloops, Lumby, Armstrong, Kelowna et al. The recently acquired Schubert Centre Van can accommodate a collapsible wheelchair or two-a great benefit to those who require these.
In other matters, the Society’s Constitution conforms to that of most similarly incorporated societies.
Every General meeting is held at the time and place designated by the Board of Directors, and if required, special or extraordinary meetings may be called at its discretion. If, by some omission, a member entitled to such notices, does not receive it, this does not invalidate the meeting. The first AGM was held not later than 15 months after the date of incorporation and each year following is called at intervals of not more
than 15 months.
Music, dancing, and singing are also considered avital part of the Center’s programs. There is a once monthly dance with many of the musicians being seniors themselves. Fun-Time get togethers provide seniors with opportunities to listen to invited guests on a wide variety of subjects, or to play games, singalong, and entertain others with their own special skills i.e. reading poetry, telling stories, enacting skits etc.
One of the most popular areas in the Center is the Cafeteria recently enlarged, where lunches and afternoon or morning tea/coffee may be shared with friends. Newcomers are always welcome. Wheels to Meals is another important adjunct to the Center, where modestly priced, well-made nourishing meals may be picked up for shut-ins and those physically incapable to personally attend the Centre.
The well-deserved culinary reputation of the kitchen staff (many of them volunteers) has done much to popularize the Centre. There is a slight difference in meal costs for members and non-members. Many larger community groups, wedding or anniversary parties use the Centre’s dining areas and catering. This revenue along with generous gifts from individual donors allows the Centre to upgrade the lighting, floors and furnishings as required. It is a most necessary part of the Center’s ability to function and progress to meet the needs of seniors.
Another added enticement is the Basement Bargain Mart where donated articles are sold at a modest cost. Woodcrafters also have an area to display their delightful handcrafts Until 2001, when the cafeteria was enlarged there was a craft room for women to contribute knitted, crocheted or sewn articles, providing not only revenue but a reason for such artisans to show and market their handcrafts. It is planned that some other area will be available in the near future for such creative skills to be made and displayed.