In 1913, Mrs. Gertrude Pettman sought work in a Kelowna packinghouse. When she was refused work due to her lack of experience, Mrs. Pettman urged the government to hold packing school classes in Kelowna. At the time, fruit packing was not considered acceptable work for women and class enrollment did not meet the required minimum. Undaunted, Mrs. Pettman persuaded members of the local Women’s Institute to join the class, which ran in the winter of 1914 at the Kelowna Farmer’s Exchange.
In Lake Country only a few women attended a formal packing school. Instead, the belles taught themselves through watching and learning from an experienced packer or they had a mentor who showed them the proper way to pack.