Pandosy Mission Sesquicentennial - Kelowna, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 50.988 W 119° 28.053
11U E 322616 N 5524851
This sculpture was commissioned by the Okanagan Historical Society to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Father Pandosy Mission. It depicts Father Pandosy in his flowing robe, scurrying across the mission grounds...
Waymark Code: WMMDF6
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 09/04/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 11

... from the Brothers' House to the Chapel, as he must have done hundreds of times in the mid-nineteenth century. The bronze sculpture is life-sized and positioned on the grounds midway between the Brothers' House and the Chapel, from any distance looking very much lifelike.

The sculpture is the work of local artist and sculptor Crystal Przybille

In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Father Pandosy Mission, the Okanagan Historical Society supported Crystal Przybille in the creation of this sculpture of Father Charles Marie Pandosy 0.M.I.. The Immaculate Conception Mission was established by Pandosy and his companions in this area once known by the original Okanagan peoples as N'Wha-quisten , and later, by the French fur-traders and European settlers, as l'Anse au Sable. The original 160 acres of pre-empted land that composed the Mission was officially registered in 1860. It was the first permanent, Euro-Canadian settlement in the Okanagan Valley.

In consideration of the original peoples of this territory and the significant impact European settlement and land pre-emption had on their culture, representatives from Westbank First Nation were consulted to help provide Syilx perspective for the sculpture. Pandosy's robe features imagery representing the spirituality and hunting/gathering traditions of the original Okanagan people. These are symbolized by the Syilx's Four Food Chiefs: Black Bear (skamxist), Salmon (ntytyix), Bitterroot (40,-m) and Saskatoon (siya2), as well as the Syilx spiritual guide, Coyote (sanklip.)

Pandosy holds a pruning that roots into the ground, symbolizing his role in establishing the settlement, his pioneering vision of planting the first orchard in the area, and his encouragement of agriculture in the valley. The windblown composition symbolizes the diverse challenges and cultural turbulence of the era.

The sculpture was donated to the Kelowna Public Art Collection in 2012.
From the plaque at the statue

Charles Pandosy, born in Marseilles in 1824, worked as a missionary in the Oregon territory until 1858 when he moved to Vancouver Island, and then to the Okanagan in 1859, where he established the Immaculate conception mission near the present-day site of Kelowna. It was the first non-aboriginal community in the valley. He served all over BC before returning to the Okanagan in 1887, where he did much to stimulate farming and fruit-growing and pioneered the wine industry. He died in 1891.

A missionary who served as an intermediary during the “Indian Wars” in the Oregon Territory, Father Pandosy arrived near what is now Kelowna in 1859, after US troops accused him of conspiring with the Yakima Nation, then burned and looted his mission. Back then he was known as the Bearded Giant – a huge, powerful man with a booming voice, who served as doctor, teacher, lawyer, orator, botanist, musician (he played the French horn), and sports coach. Known to settle arguments with his fists, Pandosy spoke several native languages, and complained to superiors that the indifference of First Nations to Christianity resulted from the un-Christian behavior of the whites. He is a folk hero – the Johnny Appleseed of the Okanagan, who planted the first fruit trees, anticipating one of Canada’s principal fruit growing areas. Read more at the Labour Heritage Centre


The Oblates of Mary Immaculate are an order of Catholic Priests founded in France in 1826. The order's Motto is "to preach the gospel to the poor", and accordingly, they sent missionaries all over the world.

The first small band of Oblates arrived in Canada in 1841. Six years later five priests headed west to the Oregon Territory to minister to the region's Indian peoples. This was a turbulent time between Indians and European settlers, and the priests often found themselves caught between Warriors and Cavalry

The Missionaries moved into the Interior of British Columbia in 1858 to establish a Mission in what is now the Kelowna area. This was a central facility from which priests made trips to outlying Native settlements in Winfield, Westbank, Princeton, Hedley, Penticton, Six Mile Creek, the Head of Okanagan Lake and other places. For the area's European settlers, the priests offered a much needed link with civilization, providing schooling for their children and regular church services for all.

In 1977 the Oblates of Mary Immaculate withdrew from the Okanagan Valley leaving behind than a Legacy of service to God and Man. Their Mission site is now the most visible reminder of that heritage. From the Sign at the Building


Founded by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (0M1) in 1860, the Father Pandosy Mission and Museum site was originally called the Immaculate Conception Mission.

The pre-empted 160 acres were registered on November 30, 1860, with Magistrate William George Cox, at his office in Rock Creek. Thus began the first permanent European non-native settlement in the interior of the Crown Colony of British Columbia now known as British Columbia.

In the late 1890s the Mission headquarters were moved to St. Louis Mission in Kamloops. In 1902, the 2500 acres once owned by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) were sold to Messrs. Gruell and Fascioux who in turn sold to the Kelowna Land and Orchard Co. (KLO) in 1906.

In 1954, the three oldest dovetailed cedar log constructed buildings were destined to be demolished. The site was saved with the intervention of seven gentlemen who, along with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, re-purchased the 15 acres of land once owned by the Oblates.

Today, the Mission property is owned by the Bishop of Nelson. A committee, under the direction of the Okanagan Historical Society, lease and look after the operation and maintenance of the four-acre site. From the Sign at the entrance to the mission
The Father The Father The Father
The Father The Father The Father
Anniversary Year: 2010

Year of Event, Organization or Occurance: 1860

3685 Benvoulin Road
Kelowna, BC Canada
V1W 4M7

Website: [Web Link]

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