Two lifelong residents of Salmon Arm: Henry Ivens (Buzz) Harper and his wife, Reba Mayne (nee Honey) Harper, played a paramount role in the local community.
Reba Mayne Honey was born on November 16th, 1913 in Salmon Arm to parents William John Honey and Agnes Lucy Bond. Furthermore, Henry Harper was born to parents Julia Edith Mary Ivens and Henry Arthur Harper on November 11th, 1909 in Salmon Arm. The parents of Henry Harper were first generation immigrants who were originally from England. Reba Honey’s parents and grandparents were born in Ontario. Her paternal great-grandparents immigrated from Cornwall and her maternal grandparents came from Scotland (Bonds and Baynes).
In his youth, Henry Harper, worked at various sawmills as sawyer, scaler and millwright including the Exchange Mill and Charlie Nakamura’s Mill as well as having his own mill on Mt Ida with his brothers-in-law, Max and Jack Honey. In 1953 he embarked on an economic enterprise for he started his own General Construction Company with another brother-in-law, Arthur (Rocky) Birkelund. Known as Harper & Birkelund, they built many commercial and residential buildings. Following Rocky’s departure, the business became known as Harper Construction. Throughout his lifetime, he was known for his industrious character and deep fondness of nature. Possessing a keen intellect, he studied mathematics and Western Canadian history in his spare time and followed the paths of the explorers and Hudson Bay trails as well as studying the C.P.R. history in BC. Meanwhile, Reba Harper in her younger years, had an incredible aptitude and intelligence for academics, and consequently furthered her studies as she trained as a teacher at the Victoria Normal School. Hereinafter she taught at Gleneden and Notch Hill Schools. Her father as Secretary Treasurer of the School Board for many years felt her to be better suited to teaching than to her dream of nursing.
Both Reba Mayne Harper and Henry Ivens Harper were positioned with fortune to see the critical junctures of the last century. For instance, during the societal, economic, and global quandaries that were brought by the catastrophes of WWI, Reba Harper, alongside her family, spent three years in Saskatchewan during the war. A rare occurrence of when she was not in Salmon Arm.
On May 8th, 1936 Henry Ivens Harper and Reba Mayne Honey were married.
After their marriage Reba became a full-time wife mother to daughter Linda and son John, bookkeeper, newspaper editor, crossword puzzle expert, and a hockey enthusiast.
Reba Mayne Harper died at the age of one hundred and four on January 14th, 2018. Her family described her as the “quiet lynchpin”. She was predeceased by her husband, Henry Harper, who passed away on New Year’s Eve of 1995.