Briony Penn will be the guest speaker at the annual Williams Lake Field Naturalist’s fundraising banquet April 24.

Staying in the saddle theme of upcoming naturalists’ banquet

The cultural and natural riches of the Chilcotin have attracted homesteaders, naturalists, artists and writers for centuries.

The cultural and natural riches of the Chilcotin have attracted homesteaders, naturalists, artists and writers for centuries.

Briony Penn, guest speaker at the Williams Lake Field Naturalists’ Scout Island Nature Centre 2015 Fund Raising Banquet, has been collecting stories from original journals, describing adventures and relationships engendered through the years.

The stories go back to the late 1800s, when her ancestors, the Drummond family, homesteaded at Riske Creek and shared their love of nature with their First Nations neighbours.

Naturalist/zoologist Ian McTaggart Cowan performed landmark biological surveys of the region in the 1930s, and she’ll share his stories from her latest book, The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian MCTaggart Cowan, to be released in May.

Penn journalled while working as a cowgirl on her family’s ancestral ranch in 1982, and as a journalist/broadcaster covering the historic Chief Roger William court case and the Mountain Horse Race in 2003.

She says one of the best things she learned in the Chilcotin was to: “Stay in the Saddle.”

The annual fundraising banquet will be held at McKinnon Hall at St. Andrew’s United Church on April 24, beginning at 6 p.m.

Following a delicious meal catered by the church women, settle back and listen to Penn’s unique presentation. Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for kids under 16.

You can find them at The Open Book, or pick them up at Scout Island Nature Centre (best to phone 398-8532 first to make sure someone’s there.)

Please get your tickets before April 17 so the cooks can be sure to prepare enough food. You wouldn’t want to miss out on Joanne Wright’s famous desserts!

Proceeds help fund local nature education and enhancement at Scout Island Nature Centre, especially the children’s programming made available year-round in partnership with local schools and during school holidays.


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