Charles and Irene Armstrong, seen here prior to Irene passing away in June, made a major donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to provide the medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. (Submitted photo)

‘Major donation’ pushes Penticton hospital campaign closer to goal

Charles Armstrong and his wife Irene made a ‘major’ donation

Turn the clock back some 18 years and Charles Armstrong was front and centre in the early planning for a major expansion of Penticton Regional Hospital.

Armstrong was a member of the founding Interior Health board in 2001 and shared in the decision to establish PRH as a full-service acute care hospital to serve the expected population growth in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.

READ MORE: New parkade and payment system at Penticton Regional Hospital

He attended the official sod-turning ceremony for the hospital expansion in July 2016 and was among the dignitaries who attended the recent official opening of the new tower.

“To see the plan become a reality is really very satisfying,” he said.

Armstrong and his wife Irene, who passed away June 12 shortly after their 66th wedding anniversary, made a major donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment for the PRH project.

Born in Nelson, Charles went to school in Creston and Trail, before earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree at UBC. Upon graduation, he joined Trans-Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) in Winnipeg and, after a transfer to Montreal, joined Canadian National Railways where he served in the executive ranks for 35 years in numerous postings across Canada.

READ MORE: Going to the new Penticton hospital tower? Here are the access points

Charles and Irene had met in Montreal, married in Toronto, and raised three children – Anne and John, who are both residents of Penticton, and Robert who lives in Denver, Colorado.

Charles took early retirement in 1982 and relocated with Irene to Penticton to be close to his father, a former railwayman on the Kettle Valley Railway.

After retiring, Charles’ talents were still much in demand. He consulted for Canada Post, CN Rail, and the World Bank with assignments in Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Bolivia. He was also deeply involved in both the local community and at the provincial level. He was a member of the BC Gas board and Chairman of the BC Automobile Association.

In Penticton, he chaired the city’s newly-formed independent Economic Development Commission in the 1980s, served on the Penticton Art Gallery board while construction was underway on the new gallery next to Okanagan Lake, performed tourism studies for the City, was a director and chair of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, a Fellow of Okanagan College, and a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012.

“I think I’ve enjoyed a very interesting and personally rewarding career,” he said.

Construction of Phase 2 of the PRH expansion, including a major upgrade to the emergency department. is now getting underway and will be completed in 2021.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Teamwork brings injured South Okanagan osprey back to its nest

A South Okanagan Osprey is back with its family after injuring itself

Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee supports added regulations, rezoning of Three Blind Mice

The recommendations will be presented to Penticton city council at an upcoming meeting

Warmer fall weather could extend wildfire season: AccuWeather

Above seasonal temperatures are expected throughout September, October and November

South Okanagan dangerous offender back in court

Administrative error has led to more court time being used up in Penticton

Nominees announced for 2019 Business Excellence Awards

The event is presented this year by McPhail Kilt Makers, hosted Oct. 5 at Penticton Lakeside Resort

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

Lost and found: Police seek owner of Firefly bag

The bag was turned into the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP on August 19th, 2019

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

Theft of Okanagan teen’s stolen bike has happy ending

A 31 year old man from Alberta was arrested Wednesday and is currently in custody facing charges

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: sunny, high UV

Today’s weather forecast

RCMP catch ‘erratic’ driving thieves; upon release steal mountain bike

The incident involved a police chase, taser, and a destroyed vehicle

Most Read