Blanche and Rolando come from humble beginnings.
Rolando, better known in the community as Rollo, an Italian immigrant, came to the Princeton area with his mother when he was a young boy.
Blanche Wagman, one of 13 children, born to Saskatchewan farmers, visited Princeton in 1952 at the invite of her sister and never left. Blanche worked for BC Tel and then Elmer Burr at the Esso station.
Rollo’s father was employed by Canadian Pacific Railway and it was CPR that suggested Rollo apply for a scholarship to attend school in Edmonton to become a diesel mechanic. This was a life-changing event starting him on the course which would eventually lead to him starting his own business.
After getting married on March 2, 1957, Blanche and Rolando built a construction and excavating business, borrowing money at high interest rates, growing, taking risk after risk and overcoming obstacle after obstacle. None of those obstacles dampened their spirit or determination to do their best. They were forever grateful for the support of the Princeton community and became contributing members early on, from volunteering with Lions, Kinsmen, Hospital Auxiliary and countless projects around town such as the Amber Ski hill, Sunflower Downs Race Track, Arena, Princeton Golf Course, and the Princeton Museum.
Tom Stout was Rollo’s inspiration to get involved with the museum, Tom’s wife Gloria spearheaded the museum project and as Tom’s friend Rollo pitched in and helped out. A cabin was moved from Missoula Lake to the current museum location and that cabin became what is now know as the Princeton Museum. Since moving the cabin from Missoula Lake in 1966 a lot of positive changes and growth have taken place and the hope is the Museum continues to grow.
“Blanche and Rolando (Rollo) Ceccon have supported the Princeton and District Museum and Archives Society, and its previous incarnations, since the very beginning in 1958. Rollo provided the equipment to move the miner’s cabin from its previous location to the Museum site. This constituted the first building to house the Collection. From that time forward they were there to contribute during every phase of improvement either physically or financially. Their latest contribution to the Museum Legacy Fund will ensure that their generosity keeps giving in perpetuity. We can’t thank them enough.” says Marjorie Holland of the Princeton & District Museum & Archive Society.
Rollo’s favourite project is the multi purpose arena which has seen tremendous success over the years. Their company helped build the arena in 1976 and they have been involved supporting this community asset in one way or another right up until they left in 2023.
In 2022, Blanche and Rollo established the Blanche and Rollo Ceccon Legacy Bursary Fund to support students graduating from the Princeton Secondary School. Blanche and Rollo embody the values of hard work, discipline, being honourable and having integrity, overcoming obstacles and moving towards their goals no matter what. It is their hope that whoever receives the bursaries from their Legacy Fund will benefit from furthering their education and become productive, contributing members of the communities they live in, paying it forward and giving others a leg up where they can.
Princeton will always have a place in Rollo and Blanche’s hearts. Blanche and Rollo remember Princeton as a great place to live, work, raise children and retire.