An Armstrong committee’s plan to name a breed of pink shrub rose bush after Overlander and eventual Armstrong resident Catherine O’Hare Schubert has been completed. With the help of volunteers, the group raised the $5,000 to purchase naming rights for the rose. (Photo submitted)

Armstrong Overlander honoured through rose bush

An Armstrong-based plan to honour one of the area’s earliest settlers has come to fruition

An Armstrong and Spallumcheen-based plan to honour one of the area’s earliest settlers has come to fruition.

After a month of planning and fundraising since Janet Irving met Armstrong City Council to discuss a rose naming project to commend Overlander Catherine O’Hare Schubert and strengthen ties with Armstrong’s sister city Rathfriland — an Irish city near Schubert’s birth place — the $5,000 required to purchase naming rights has been raised.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Janet Irving, one of the three leaders of the project alongside Jessie Ann Gamble and Schubert-descendant Carol Cooney. “There’s a lot of generosity from local residents and the Schubert family. It is so exciting and such a thrill to think we could do it so quickly, and in time to get the rose.”

The pink shrub rose, cultivated by Langley-based rose breeders Select Roses, was chosen to emulate a wild rose, after which Schubert’s daughter was named and reminiscent of the wild berries and rose hips Schubert’s company survived on during their journey across British Columbia.

“It will be known internationally by the name Catherine O’Hare Schubert,” Irving said.

A minimal number of the pink shrub roses will be available following approval from the American Rose Society, but Irving said Blue Mountain Nursery plans on stocking the rose for sale.

However, both Armstrong and Spallumcheen will have priority on the first available roses from Select Roses.

“There has been tremendous interest from the City of Armstrong and Township of Spallumcheen,” Irving said, adding that the plan is for Rathfriland to grow Catherine O’Hare Schubert roses as well.

And it couldn’t have been done without volunteer donations and support, Irving said. “We’re just so delighted,” she said. “It’s amazing, the support.”

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