Posted on 15 December 2011 by admin
The Customs Port of Entry on the Canada/United States border celebrated its 150th anniversary on December 10 with a short ceremony at the Canadian Border Service Agency facility in Osoyoos.
In attendance were local RCMP officers, border service officers, the mayor, some members of town council and a few descendants of the original customs officers.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to the Port of Osoyoos as you celebrate your 150th anniversary on this date, said Glyn Lee, director of the Okanagan and Kootenay district.
The ceremony included a speech from director Lee regarding the historical importance of the port, a brief historical background given by Osoyoos museum curator Ken Favrholdt (see Favrholdt’s historical story – page 9) and a great presentation by Elizabeth Curtis on the life of her great, great grandfather, J. C. Haynes.
Haynes is often referred to as the “Father of Osoyoos,” being the first settler, colonial officer and judge in Osoyoos.
There were also a number of historical display cases brought in for the ceremony, showing off everything from old photographs to articles to clothing.
Michael Cacchioni, superintendent of the Port of Osoyoos, worked closely with the local museum to put on the ceremony. He said he would have liked to have a much bigger event, like the port’s centennial celebration, which had more than 2,000 people in attendance, but time and space restrictions did not allow for it.
The Customs Port of Entry was built in 1861, when 800 people crossed the border over the course of the year. People were far outnumbered by 9,000 livestock. Today the crossing averages about 1,000 people a day.