Fourteen years ago (2000) Ken Ellison published a book, Irrigation is King: A Century of Water in Oyama, BC. 1892-2000. This work exhaustively examined and interpreted the land, water and irrigation records of Oyama, BC. Now, a complementary video, Flume. The story of the original irrigation system in Oyama, BC, has been produced by Jordy Starling of Oyama.
Starling’s presentation features and honours his grandfather, Arnold Trewhitt, who was the last water bailiff for the Wood Lake Water Company. It is a compelling video presenting Trewhitt’s narrative and is supported by excellent photographs, maps and graphics.
Trewhitt focuses on the community of fruit farmers who established Oyama and who were bound together by the water distribution system of open flumes. Water was the life-blood of the community and Trewhitt prides himself as being the water bailiff or custodian who visited every farmer every day, regulating, conserving, and efficiently delivering precious water to each farm. He reminisces about an era of farmer democracy and community involvement.
This video is a wonderful celebration of the historic community of Oyama. While Oyama has changed with the arrival of numerous non-farmers, the character of Oyama remains.
The Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society thanks Jordy Starling for this thoughtful video presentation. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=nNEGiVF9dV0