Daniel and Connie Eberle enjoy the sunshine at Kayanara Guest Ranch and Resort with two of their 15 horses, Zuni and Dakota. (Pete Hart - Correspondent)

Canim Lake resident celebrates 85 years

Pete Hart’s regular correspondence for the Canim Lake area

Dear Canimites,

Well, here we are, hunkered down and ‘sheltering-in-place’ as Dr. Bonnie Henry asks. Many in our country, and abroad, are suffering. Our health and medical workers are exhausting themselves to save lives, and doing so at great peril to themselves and their own families. I think the best thing for me to do is to highlight how blessed we are out here in Canim country to be in such a place at such a time. I’ll do that with two stories.

Marga Hausmann

Marga Hausmann celebrated her 85th birthday last week. Since her husband George died three years ago, Marga has continued living in the beautiful log home on Canim that was the former Hinterland Resort lodge. She is a meticulous gardener, with beautifully laid out flower beds and a vegetable garden that supplies friends from 100 Mile to Hawkins Lake – raspberries, potatoes by the pail-full, cabbages, apples by the box-full, and on and on. Her flowers go to her Church.

Well, Marga has come a long way. In 1953, at the age of 17, she managed to slip out of East Germany just before the wall went up. As her train slowed to negotiate the switchyards of West Berlin, Marga waited until the armed guards turned their backs, then jumped to the ground and sprinted for cover. A few months later, she was on her way to Canada. She fetched up in Edmonton, where she met the tall and handsome George, himself also a recent émigré. They married three years later in Vancouver.

George’s work as an industrial electrician took them far and wide, from Brittania Beach to Manitouwadge and then back again to Vancouver. But in those travels, Canim country had cast a spell on them that couldn’t be denied. They bought their property in the late ‘80’s and moved here permanently some years later, never to return to the old country.

The Eberles of Kayanara Guest Ranch and Resort

In 2009 Daniel and Connie Eberle were living in their native Switzerland, he a partner and Managing Director of a successful IT contracting firm, and she the owner of a thriving florist business. Their two children had left home and established themselves. Looking for new challenges, the couple sold up everything and began a journey around the world with a ‘dream of regained freedom’ they called KAYANARA.

In Daniel’s words, “Our journey lasted three weeks before we saw by chance a ranch house on a small hill above a valley that took our breath away. It was winter and there was 60 cm of snow. In the south, we saw the white ribbon of the river, framed by sculpture-like bare trees and bushes, sparkling with hoar-frost. The gentle hills of the north with giant pine trees seemed to meet the river at the horizon and enclose the quiet fields and pastures. The tranquillity, the power of nature made us speechless. My wife and I looked at each other and both instinctively knew we were standing in front of KAYANARA. Our journey was over.”

Now 10 years later, KAYANARA has been built up and hosts guests from around the world. Their three beautiful log cabins house visitors in total comfort, whether these be large families, singles, or honeymooning couples. People come for the trail riding – there are 15 horses on the ranch – for kayaking Eagle Creek and Canim Lake, for fishing, photography, or just for quiet walks through the flower-filled meadows and wooded borderlands. Winter or summer, Connie and Daniel are exceptional hosts who delight in ensuring their guest’s enjoyment.

So, let’s continue to be thankful for where we are, and keep an extra close eye on those in our community who may be having difficulty.

That’s all for now. Until next time, here’s wishing you many blessings.

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Marga Hausmann (rightmost) with friends Sheila Hart and Henry Venema at Canim Lake. (Pete Hart - Correspondent)

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