Naramata Centre's rich 70-year history was celebrated with much gratitude, Saturday, June 23d. The day was replete with "Naramata magic" and activities designed to encourage reflection on the many ways the Centre has creatively nurtured us through
the experience of community, deepened our faith and nudged us to make a difference in the world. 

We celebrated the journey we have travelled and engaged in activities to focus our attention toward the future. Over 100 people joined us through the day with others expressing their "Congratulations" and "See you at the Centre later this summer."
Since its official opening in November 1948, Naramata Centre has served people of all generations; those trusting, doubting, seeking and knowing. From its beginnings as a United Church Christian Leadership Centre for lay people, programming at the Centre has evolved to reflect the challenges of changing times. Naramata Centre continues to be an inclusive, safe, welcoming place to connect and deepen in mind, body and spirit, and this was evident throughout our day of celebration.
70th Anniversary Activities

Linda Hatfield, BarbHatfield, Jane Ritchie
(missing Jane Sanden)
The 70th Anniversary Committee (Barb Hatfield, Linda Hatfield, Jane Ritchie and Jane Sanden) offered creative activities to engage us in reflecting on our past and focussing on the future. 

Typical of traditional Centre activities, we were provided opportunities to  visit with friends both old  and new, and to sink into that warm feeling of community that is so much a part of the Naramata experience we remember and savor.
What are your special memories of Naramata  Centre?

the morning, everyone formed a
long line of participants stretching across Columbia lawn, organized
chronologically by the year they first came to Naramata Centre. We soon drew together into a large circle of community, seeking to learn more about each other's experience at the Centre over the years.

Interactive Activities in Columbia Hall 

  A Drive through the Decades: 
  Seven tables  (1950s to 2010's), covered              in  memorabilia from each decade, invited            people to  share stories, and to add  their 
  own memorabilia  and artifacts to the table.
  They also  marked 
significant events and the        place  on   the "road map" where they joined  the    journey through the 70 years.

When did you first come to the Centre?

Rooted in the Past - 
Reaching for the Future:  
A large apple tree painted by Jane
Ritchie came alive with sticky-paper
apples on which participants wrote ways they had grown or the nourishment they received from the Centre over the years. By the end of the day it was covered in apples.
Think about ways you have grown through your time at the Centre. 

 Tribute Table:
 Folks had an opportunity to   acknowledge and honor the many   Naramata Centre people who have   had an impact on them and/or have   made significant contributions to the   Centre over the years.

 Names were added throughout the   day. Who would you add to this   long 
list of people who have   contributed to Naramata Centre?

Looking to the Future:
Huge rose-colored glasses  invited us  to en vision and write down our hopes and  dreams for the  future of  Naramata Centre.  

What are your hopes and dreams for the Centre? 

Blessing Banners:                   
Special cloth banners were lovingly painted  wit h special messages of hope and prayers for the Centre. These banners will find their way to special outdoor places on site.

 Centre Pieces
 Jigsaw puzzles with pictures of Centre scenes  created   impromptu conversations, collaboration  and fun as folks   gathered to bring solve the puzzles and bring the pictures
 to life. 

 Centre Board Members Sarah T. and Dan are joined
 by Program Manager Charmaine Pearce and Volunteer   Extraordinaire Jean MacLeod!

 What is your favorite place or scene at Naramata Centre?

 Dress Up Photographs
 People were invited to explore the Naramata  "Tickle   Trunk," dress for a decade, and have  their photos taken   while holding a flag  designating the decade they wished   to remember! 

 Can you guess who these two dressed-up gals are?

 What are/were your favorite years at the Centre?

Lunch, Ice Cream and Beach Balls on the Beach Lawn
We enjoyed a BYO picnic  lunch on the beach followed  by complimentary ice cream with  cones donated by the Naramata Store. Thanks to the store for this gift!

Participants sat on  the old Naramata patchwork quilts  and had fun visiting and
using conversation starters written  on beach balls that were tossed  from quilt to quilt! It
was a pleasant time for visiting old friends
and meeting new ones!

Worship in Columbia Hall

At 1:30 p.m., people gathered in Columbia Hall for a time of worship begInning with a heart- warming medley of Naramata Centre favorite songs from over the decades. 

Thanks to Linnea Good and David Jonsson for the wonderful music!  Our worship time was prepared and led by Allison Rennie, Keri Wehlander and Linnea Good.  We are grateful for all who also contributed, including those who acted in the skit and/or served communion.

Annual General Meeting
The AGM followed worship at 2:30 p.m. Read the  Board Update  here for more information. 

Following the business portion of the meeting, w e were pleased that Ken McLaren, son of two of the Naramata Centre founders -- Bob and Alleen McLaren, dropped in and inspired the people gathered to continue the vision his parents had when the Centre began in 1947. 

Thanks to Ken for taking the time to drop into our meeting to bring his greetings and support!

Birthday Cake and Discussion
Jennifer Whyte baked the amazing cake that she is plating for daughter Sarah to serve to guests.
Following the AGM, we were treated to special 70th Anniversary cake lovingly baked for us by Jennifer Whyte in Creekside Commons!

We  gathered as a large group to listen to the recorded words of Bob McLaren and then formed small groups to discuss how his thoughts, first recorded at the time of the Centre's 30th anniversary, still hold significant meaning for us as we look (through our own rose coloured glasses) to the future.

Potluck, Evening Campfire, Singalong and Swim!
The day was completed with a marvellous potluck dinner feast in our beautiful Creekside Commons building. It was a special time of visiting,  fellowship, and delicious memories!
As evening fell on this busy day, a few spirited souls gathered  for a campfire and sing-along. in the spirit of bold ventures going forward, a few brave hearts, including some board members & staff - enjoyed an evening swim!

The Board of Directors expresses our sincere gratitude to the 70th Anniversary Committee, Centre staff, worship and music leaders, our cake baker, and the volunteers who helped to plan, organize, prepare, orchestrate and clean up after the celebrations. And special thanks, indeed, to all who celebrated with us throughout the day!

If you have thoughts to share, stimulated by the questions in the "What are your special memories of Naramata Centre?" section of this Anniversary report, or other thoughts about the Centre, please email them to Barb Green at 

And finally, in the words of Dag Hammarskjold:

   "For all that has been,  Thanks.
For all that is to come,  Yes!"

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