Landers Family stretches back three generations in Salmon Arm. In 1944, James Alvin Landers and his wife Sadie (née Howe), together with three of their seven children, left the dust-bowl of Saskatchewan, moving to 30 acres in Salmon Arm located approximately where Shuswap Middle School now stands. The eldest of those children was Maurice Alvin Landers, who married Dorothy Smith. They had three children: Garry, Joyanne, and Dean.
After serving in the Air Force in WW2, Maurice completed his teaching degree at the University of Saskatoon in 1947. He moved to Salmon Arm with Dorothy (and Garry) to begin his teaching career at Salmon Arm Consolidated School and eventually become Vice-Principal of Salmon Arm Secondary School. He and Dorothy raised their children on the family farm in South Canoe. One of Maurice’s accomplishments, while on the farm, was the design and construction of an ingenious self-feeding, self-cleaning mechanism for use in the chicken barn. He became known across Western Canada for this innovation. Sadly, Dorothy died in 1958. Maurice remarried in 1961. He and Olwen (née Evans) had one child, Eve.
After Dorothy died, Maurice sold the home farm, using the proceeds to create what is thought to be the first apartments in Salmon Arm on Shuswap Avenue (now Shuswap Street). Over the next several years, he built three more on the same property. Maurice was very active in the community. A Shriner, a Mason of the 31st level, and a member of the Canadian Legion, he also sat on the municipal Board of Variance for many years prior to the incorporation of the City of Salmon Arm.
In 1975, Garry married Mary Ramsay, who was born in Vernon and raised in Winfield. Both Mary’s parents were raised in Vernon. The Ramsays had emigrated from Scotland in 1910 and the Langstaffs had arrived in 1907. A love of music brought Garry and Mary together. They met at the ‘Chat Noire Jazz Bar’ in Vancouver (with the help of friends) while Mary was teaching at North Delta Sr. Secondary and Garry was teaching at Pleasant Valley Senior Secondary in Arm-strong. They moved to Vernon and were there for twelve and a half years. Their two children, Stacey (1979) and Robert (1982), were born there. After completing a teacher exchange in Scot-land, they made a conscious decision to move to the beautiful Shuswap in 1987. Mary was a counsellor and taught Music in the Shuswap for 18 years, and in her spare moments served on the OK Symphony Board, founded the Shuswap Children’s Choir and most recently is the founding director of the Shuswap Men’s Chorus. Garry taught Elementary School in Armstrong until 1991, when he accepted a position in the Shuswap District. He was an active member of the Shuswap Rotary Club for 20 years and is now actively involved on the Board of the R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum. Both are now retired.
Garry acknowledges that from it’s inception he has supported the Shuswap Community Foundation, so when the opportunity arose, he and Mary decided to open the Landers Family Legacy Fund. Anyone may contribute to this fund. Grants disbursed from the interest earned will be given to non-profit charitable organizations operating in the City of Salmon which support or promote the arts, including, but not limited to, the visual and the performing arts.