(From The Summerland Review, 1981)
The firm was originally formed by Mr. P.E. Knowles, in 1927, selling real estate and insurance and operating the Summerland Bulletin. The office was located on Main Street next to Green's Drug Store.
In June 1948, Howard Pruden joined the firm and the name was changed to Read and Pruden. Bob Alstead came in as Real Estate Salesman in 1955 and continued until his retirement in 1966.
In 1956 the old frame building was demolished and replaced with a modern stone front building housing as well as Read and Pruden, Green's Drug Store, now Summerland Pharmacy, and Cranna's Jewelry (later Butler's Jewelry).
In 1958, J.A. Read retired and the business carried on until 1967, at which time the Bulletin was sold to E.F. (Hilly) Smith and Robin Wright. It was subsequently sold to the Summerland Review in 1968.
Following J.A. Read's retirement and the sale of the Bulletin, the name was changed to Pruden Realty Ltd. At that time Margaret Pruden took over the bookkeeping duties.
Employees over the years include in addition to those already mentioned, Phil and Edna Munro, Marjorie Butler, Velma Stewart, Marjorie Kuroda, Pearl Reid, Chuck Bleasdale in insurance and/or the Bulletin, and Jack Bailie, Bob Butler, Jack Rutledge, Jack Naismith, Doug Hill and Laurie Croft in real estate. Bill Ramsay has been with the firm since 1964.
In 1976, the insurance business was sold to Ron Dunsdon. Ron, the son of Mary and George Dunsdon, was born and raised in Summerland. The two businesses operated independently but in the same premises until Pruden Realty moved into their new offices on the corner of Main and Henry in late 1979, where they are today (1981). Presently, in the office are salespeople Bill Ramsay, Val George, Heather Mayne, Agent Howard Pruden and receptionist Carol Welsh.
In March of this year services were increased by purchase of additional facilities provided by Century 21.
Dating back to 1940 - with the purchase by J.A. Read, the firm lays claim to being the oldest continually operated family business in Summerland. They have been here over 40 years and hope to serve you, the people of Summerland for many more years to come.