Carl Werner celebrated his 98th birthday with family and friends at the Cherryville Hall July 27. (Roger Knox/Morning Star)

‘Little buggers’ help North Okanagan man reach 98

Friends, family, neighbours gather in Cherryville to celebrate Carl Werner’s latest birthday

Time may have slowed Carl Werner’s motion, but not his mind.

Asked at his 98th birthday party at the Cherryville Hall July 27 what’s the secret to living a long life, Werner didn’t hesitate:

“Raise a bunch of kids, and let the little buggers do all the work,” Werner laughed.

Werner and his late wife, Noreen, had seven little buggers, five girls and two boys. Four of them were able to return to help Werner celebrate his special day.

Werner was the ninth of 15 kids born to Jacob and Caroline Werner, Cherryville homesteaders. He has one surviving sibling, a younger sister, Edith, who lives in Lumby and who came to the celebration.

Born in Vernon Jubilee Hospital July 27, 1920, Werner has lived all of his life in the Cherryville area. He made it as far as Grade 8 in school, then “worked like hell for a living.”

“I ran sawmills and did logging and farming,” said Werner. “We worked for the farmers, mostly, doing everything them days. In them days, the farmer had to everything. I worked on grain and dairy farms and did the milking. I had my own dairy farm later.

“I wasn’t getting paid very much. I milked 20 cows and my cheque was $43 after taxes. We had some pretty tough times back in the early 1930s.”’

After getting married and having kids, Werner focused on logging and operating a sawmill around the Lumby area. He trained for the Second World War but never saw action.

He loves hunting and fishing and has operated a trap line pretty much all of his 98 years, trapping mostly martens and some squirrels.

Werner did some guiding in the region, taking American visitors out.

He voluntarily gave up his driver’s licence at 97, just a few years after returning (as a passenger) from a family trip to the Arctic Circle. He still goes camping eastbound and down on Highway 6 to Whatshan Lake near Fauquier. He carries on a family tradition, picking bucket upon bucket of huckleberries, which are turned into jam, pies and mixed in pancake batter.

Werner was also a musician, playing dances in the original Cherryville Hall or a barn dance to celebrate the building of the new structure. He picked away on guitar and banjo, and also played the violin.

For Werner, there’s no better place than The Richlands, the area he grew up in and has lived his entire life. An area he wrote a song about, called The Richlands. Family members had the original tape recording of Werner singing his original composition and played it over a slideshow titled ‘Pa,’ played at his birthday party.

Close to 60 people were on hand to help Werner celebrate No. 98, family, neighbours and friends. It made him feel good to be celebrated.

For Werner, there’s no place like home.

“There’s no better area,” he said. “It’s been good to me. If I was younger I’d do a few things different but there’s nothing wrong (with) this area. I learned to love everybody and I still love everybody.”


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

New fire truck for Keremeos and area

Residents vote to borrow money to buy a new fire truck for the Keremeos area.

Three charities receive generous donation from 100 Men Who Care

The organization meets four times a year to contribute funding to local initiatives

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

South Okanagan RCMP campaign issues several cannabis violations

One marijuana impaired driver, multiple violation tickets, six alcohol imparied drivers found

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Most Read