Memorial bench means Penticton woman will never sit alone

Having lived in Penticton for years, Georgina Doumont was still never really sure if this was home.

Georgina Doumont (seated) with her friends Jennifer Taylor (left) and Wendy Binggeli on the bench dedicated to her son Jason who passed away in March after suffering a traumatic head injury.  Mark

Georgina Doumont (seated) with her friends Jennifer Taylor (left) and Wendy Binggeli on the bench dedicated to her son Jason who passed away in March after suffering a traumatic head injury. Mark

Having lived in Penticton for years, Georgina Doumont was still never really sure if this was home.

All that changed in March when her son Jason was taken off life support after suffering a severe head injury.

At the time of his passing, he was 39, and following her devastating loss, Doumont was overwhelmed by the many people who came to be by her side.

Saturday she and some of those who gave of themselves gathered at the memorial bench set up in Jason’s honour in Rotary Park.

“Since I’ve lived in Penticton it’s always been kind of hard to find your way. You have lots of friends and stuff but you never really feel like you kind of fit in,” said Doumont. “But this community really made me feel special, the overwhelming response from people when my son was passing away and that’s when I knew Penticton really was my home.

“I’ve been there (bench) many times and it really does feel like I can put my arm around him.”

There was also considerable support in social media, especially Facebook.

“Even the nurses at the hospital said ‘I wish you had somebody here’ but I said, I’m here for my son and if I need support and I showed her my Facebook and she just said ‘Oh my God,’” said Doumont. That’s what the gathering at the bench and potluck on Saturday was for, to do something special for them and give everyone a hug.”

It was her friend Jennifer Taylor who came up with the idea of the memorial bench.

“Jennifer called me and asked if I would ‘consider allowing us to raise money to put a bench on the waterfront so you could go and sit there and spend time with him?’” recalled Doumont.  “I said absolutely and I told her the main reason is that I hope people like you will go and sit there with your son and realize how precious life is and how important it is to say how much you love each other.”

With a 16-year-old boy of her own, Taylor could not believe the pain and heartache her friend was going through.

“It chokes me up just thinking about,” she said. “Georgina is a good friend and it was that feeling of what could we do? And flowers just don’t cut it.

“As a mother I know that nothing can come close to the loss of a child and I thought we’ll never be able to change that loss but at least we can give her some sort of comfort and something to go to and something to hold on to.”

Taylor enlisted the help of mutual friend Wendy Binggeli to help raised the necessary funds and donations soon came pouring in.

Not only did they raise enough for the bench but an additional $700 which was donated to the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society which Doumont asked to be used to help other families in similar situations.

“It just spiralled, we had donations coming in from everywhere,” said Taylor. “We live in an amazing community just the goodness of people here.

“I think this (memorial) gave Georgina hope in her darkest hours and will give a certain timelessness to his life and a place to stay connected to her son.”

Last month Georgina wrote a note to Jason on the electronic message board on his obituary, it read:

“Six months today, I have been reliving every moment of the last hour with you, will never forget, enjoyed spending time with you on the bench today, be happy my son, and grandma says to tell you she loves you also…”


Just Posted

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

(File photo)
Mobile drop-in vaccination clinic coming to Oliver

All those in the Oliver area who have not yet received their first dose are eligible for the vaccine

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read