Chris Wright – 1911 to 2007
Chris was born in Kamloops, the son of Frank T. Wright, a rancher, and Agnes M Cleave, a registered nurse. Sporadically he attended six different elementary schools, but most of his early education was by correspondence and home schooling. He attended Kamloops High School. After graduation in 1929 Chris worked briefly in the Bank of Montreal and then at Tranquille Sanatorium for the tubercular, where he learned the “people skills” that served him well in future years.
Chris attended Victoria Normal School in 1932, then taught for three years in the one room Darlington School between Barriere and Little Fort. For the following six years, he was principal of Chase Superior School, teaching grades 8-12. During these first ten years of teaching, Chris completed in BA, first class in English and Latin, at UBC, graduating in 1944. From 1943 to 1954, Chris taught at Kamloops Junior Senior High School. In 1954 he married Eve Bradley. That year he became principal of Armstrong Junior Senior High, in a brand-new building that had just replaced an out-dated and inadequate three-room secondary school. These were five very happy and successful years.
In 1959 Chris became a District Superintendent of Schools, stationed at Smithers, but serving the Smithers, Burns Lake and Vanderhoof School Districts’ “a great learning experience.” In 1962 he transferred to Creston as Superintendent of two Districts, Kootenay Lake and Creston. During his five-year tenure, he helped the two districts go through an amalgamation process and expand boundaries eastward to include Yahk. In 1967, Chris successfully applied for a transfer to Salmon Arm. “We felt that this was coming home, built our house and planned to stay.” Chris’ first task was to complete the amalgamation of the Salmon Arm and Enderby School Districts to form Shuswap School District #89.
After six and-one half mostly happy and productive years, retirement came in 1974. Since then Chris has had time for his own interests: gardening, travel, St. John’s Church, and the New Democratic Party. Chris’ wife and very dear friend, Eve, died in 1999; in 2000 Chris moved to Kelowna, but still very actively supports the Shuswap and the Shuswap Foundation. Chris and Eve were Foundation Founders in 1996.
Eve Wright – 1919 to 1999
Evelyn E.M. Bradley was born in Folkstone, England, to an English Mother, Dorothy Cordery, and Stewart Bradley, a sixth generation Canadian and an officer in the Royal Flying Corps. She grew up in Calgary, graduating from Western High School, and later attended UBC where she earned a BA and a diploma in Education. Eve won first class honours in English and Social Studies, subjects she taught for the next nine years at Kamloops High School.
After her marriage to Chris, Eve’s first interest was her family; however, she kept up her interest in Art and Literature. Her “literary group” welcomed her as an authority on procedure and a very thorough researcher whose presentations were always of the highest quality. As the children grew older, Eve’s interests expanded.
For three years she was Girl Guide Commissioner for the East Kootenays.
In Salmon Arm, Eve taught English for New Canadians for a few years; she became very active in the Salmon Arm Sketch Club and St. John’s Anglican Church, serving on the executive of both bodies. She was one of the founders, and the first Vice President of the Shuswap District Arts Council and represented that body on the Okanagan Mainline Arts Council for several years.
Eve believed passionately in the principles of the CCF (New Democratic Party) and was a willing scrutineer at elections. She proved her descent from several United Empire Loyalist ancestors and was a charter member of the Thompson-Okanagan Branch of the UEL Association.
Chris and Eve have been solid supporters of the Shuswap Foundation from its very beginning. They were Founders, and major supporters thereafter. Chris was a faithful attendee at Foundation events until he moved to Kelowna in 2000. He still corresponds.