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Tony Brummet honoured for long-time contribution to museum
Tony Brummet, a long-time Osoyoos Museum Society board member, was recently honoured for his contribution to the society with a lifetime museum membership.
Brummet, who worked for years as an educator, administrator and provincial cabinet minister before retiring to Osoyoos in 1991, has been active in the community since his arrival.
“We tend to refer to Tony as our senator,” said Mat Hassen, museum board president. “He objects to the term because of the modern interpretation, but we say, ‘No Tony, you are a source of sober second thought on a lot of the issues that we encounter.’ Given his history with us, but also his considerable success over a career, we’re fortunate to have someone like Tony on the board.”
The decision to grant Brummet a certificate of honorary lifetime membership in the Osoyoos Museum Society was made unanimously by all board members except Brummet, who was kept out of the loop until the May 24 annual general meeting.
“What I had to do was have an electronic board meeting because it wasn’t something that we wanted to do in a meeting with him present,” said Hassen.
Brummet, who has been active in a number of Osoyoos community organizations, doesn’t recall exactly when he first started with the museum board, but thinks it was around the turn of the millennium. He has held various positions with the society.
“Over time I was involved with the golf club, the curling club and so on,” said Brummet. “I gradually tapered off and backed out and now I’ve basically stepped out of the Art Gallery and Arts Council. I maintain an interest, but I’ve stepped off the job of director and am limiting it to the museum now. I’m getting too old to be doing all of these things.”
Born in Mendham, Saskatchewan in 1931, Brummet moved to northern Alberta where his father farmed.
A tragic barn fire ended the farming, and at the age of 10, Brummet moved to the Kelowna area.
In his career as an educator, he served as principal at a secondary school in Fort St. John – the area that he went on to represent in the B.C. Legislature.
For 12 years, from 1979 to 1991, Brummet served as a Social Credit MLA under premiers Bill Bennett and Bill Vander Zalm.
For nine of those years he served in cabinet under both premiers in portfolios of Education; Lands, Parks and Housing; and Environment.
Brummet married his current wife Lois in 1985 after his first wife, Audrey, died of cancer.
In 1995, Brummet chaired the host society of the B.C. Seniors Games held in Osoyoos and Oliver.
“The last six months were almost a full-time job,” he said, adding it was a volunteer position.
Brummet stepped down as director of the Osoyoos Art Gallery last October after a stint of 10 years.
He continues to maintain an interest in culture and heritage.
Recently he was named as chair of the Osoyoos Museum’s new building committee, which is involved in preparing for the future move to a new Main Street location in the building currently occupied by the Home Building Centre.
“I’m really keen on the heritage and the green changes,” said Brummet. “We obviously have to do quite a few changes when it is converted to a museum. I hope that we can do things like solar panels and other heating systems that will save us operating funds in the future.”