The Abbott family’s roots in Sicamous grew about a kilometre this week with the naming of a walking path in their name.
On Monday morning, at a rest area along Old Town Road where a new walkway into the Old Town Bay development site begins, Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz welcomed generations of the Abbott family, Sicamous councillors, MLA Greg Kyllo, MP Mel Arnold and others, to recognize the Abbotts for their contributions to the community, including the dedication of property along Old Town Road that will become district park land.
“It’s been a legacy that’s been going on for years and years and today,” said Rysz of the Abbotts before unveiling a plaque that will be placed on the dedicated property. The plaque says, “Irene and Malcolm Abbott, Growing Agriculture and a Strong Community, July 11, 2016.”
The plaque unveiling was followed later by the unveiling of a new trail marker sign located at the start of the walking path. The sign says, “Abbott Trail, Dedicated by the District of Sicamous, July 11, 2016.” The sign is decorated with an image of mixed berries, in reference to the Abbott’s berry farm.
After thanking the Abbott family for their contributions to the community, Kyllo reflected on the berry farm and its importance to the community.
“You know, the Abbott berry farm, I can remember as a child going down there with my parents and getting absolutely attacked by mosquitoes,” said Kyllo. “We just had our 30th grad reunion and some of my fellow grad classmates were talking, and they actually worked at the Abbott berry farm. I think a lot of us in the community, grades 5,6,7, it was one of the first jobs a lot of us had, picking strawberries at the Abbott farm.”
Kyllo also thanked his political predecessor, former Shuswap MLA George Abbott, for all his contributions in local and provincial politics.
Arnold joked that the ceremony wasn’t just about George, but the entire Abbott family, and the community as a whole.
“The entire community got behind George and the Abbott family and it’s great to see the Abbott family continuing to contribute, donating this land as a park, and now the trailhead being recognized in their name. It truly shows the community spirit that is here in Sicamous,” said Arnold.
A touched George Abbott thanked everyone on behalf of the Abbott family, noting how between his parents, Malcolm and Irene, and subsequent generations, Abbott family members have “made the trip down this road, probably about 84,000 times… to have a great time at the beach.”
“So it’s a tremendous honour to have this recognition and thank you so much for your kind words. We are truly appreciative of it,” said George.
Bob Abbott also expressed his gratitude.
“The mayor talked about the family contributing, but the family would be nothing without the community,” said Bob. “Thank you all. We appreciate everything you’ve done and all the support you’ve provided us.”