When the South Similkameen Museum Society meets for their annual general meeting on April 27, they will be selecting a new President – for the first time in 35 years, as longtime President Doreen Smith steps down.
Smith, who has been a resident of Keremeos since 1944, has headed the museum since 1976.
“I have really enjoyed it,” she said of her tenure recently. “I’ve always been interested in history, and I’ve always felt that Keremeos is a town with an interesting history behind it.”
Smith said that the society has struggled over the years. Recently the emphasis has been on finding a new home for the museum – it has been located in the old Keremeos jail at Sixth and Sixth for years, and is outgrowing the small building. The society continues to rely on HRDC grants to fund its summer operation through the hiring of a student to help operate the facility.
The museum society was instrumental in getting heritage trust funding for the Grist Mill, one of the area’s most visible and visited historic attractions. Under Smith’s guidance, the museum has advanced Lower Similkameen historical research and general interest in history for over 30 years.