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Benvoulin Church: A Building That Reflects Its Community
Central Okanagan Heritage Society
Kelowna , British Columbia

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   The Benvoulin Church, the
first Presbyterian Church
south of Vernon, was built by
the community in 1892, on a
piece of land donated by real
estate promoter/developer
George Grant MacKay. Building
the church was part of
MacKay's plan to develop his
Benvoulin town site in hopes

that it would become a
station stop along the
proposed Vernon & Okanagan
Railway, which lead to the
U.S. border. But with
MacKay's death in late 1892,
his driving force was
eliminated and the railway
never built. The high
expectations for the

Benvoulin town site were
never realized. Instead
settlement focused on Bernard
Lequime's 1892 Kelowna town
site on the Okanagan
lakefront.
   The church was built by
H.W. Raymer, who was
Kelowna's first mayor. Lumber
for construction came from

the sawmill of the notable
pioneer Lequime family.
Canada's seventh Governor
General, Lord Aberdeen, and
his wife Lady Aberdeen, who
purchased the neighbouring
Guisachan Ranch, provided
liberal donations towards the
building of the church.
   After serving its

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