Bernau is one of the many great family names of Lake Country. When Hugh Bernau was young it was expected he would follow in his father’s footsteps, however, he had his own plans in life. In 1929, Hugh made his way to Winfield, BC, after spending two years in Monte Creek. He worked on an orchard making $5 a day when he first arrived.[1] Hugh eventually met the daughter of Northcote and Mabel Caesar, Winnifred, at a cricket match. She became his wife and they were married for over 60 years.[2] The two lived in Okanagan Centre their entire marriage. Winna lived her entire life on the Sundial Ranch.[3] Both Winna and Hugh died at the age of 89, April 1997 and September 1994 respectively.[4]

Hugh and Winna received several commendations from Environment Canada. In 1937 they took over a service for long-term temperature and precipitation recording. Northcote Caesar had started the project in 1931.[5] Measurements were taken twice daily, and they performed the service for at least 50 years.[6] Both Hugh and Winna were substantially involved within the community. Winna contributed greatly towards the development of the Lake Country Museum.[7] She was also an adamant supporter of women’s rights as part of the Okanagan Centre Women’s Institute.

Okanagan Centre Women's Institute

Winna Bernau, here with the Okanagan Centre Women’s Institute, is second from the bottom right. LCMA 1997000055.

The couple had two daughters and a son: Daphne, Anne, and Wayne.[8] Their history also lives on through grandchildren.

Hugh Bernau.

Hugh Bernau. LCMA #2007017024.

 

[1] Lake Country Museum and Archives’ “Roads”.

[2] “Carr’s Landing: A History” by Penny Baughen; Photograph of the 60thwedding anniversary provided by the Lake Country Museum and Archives.

[3 ]Lake Country Museum and Archives “Winnifred Kathleen Caesar-Bernau” by Heather Yaxley.

[4] Lake Country Calendar “Obituary” & “Hugh Bernau of OK Centre Dies at 89”.

[5] Lake Country Calendar “Community: Bernaus a driving force behind climate history”.

[6] Lake Country Calendar, “Fifty years of weather watching for the Bernaus: Oyama couple awarded”.

[7] Lake Country Calendar, “Community: Bernaus a driving force behind climate history”.

[8] The Calendar, March 1982 “Fifty golden years for Winna and Hugh Bernau”.