Koda and Robin Edgar Haworth did a trek along the Highway of Tears. (Submitted)

May: City mourns philanthropist

Looking back at our biggest stories from each month in 2019

City mourns passing of philanthropist

Penticton is mourning the loss of one of its greatest philanthropists.

David E. Kampe, a major sponsor of the new hospital tower named in his honour, died on the evening of May 8, according to a release issued by the Kampe family and Peters Brothers Construction Ltd.

“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with David Kampe, we have lost a dear friend and mentor,” said company representatives in the release. “In 1981 Dave started building the team that owns and operates the company today. We will honour his memory by continuing the work he loved so much.”

“He and I have been partners for the last 20 years, so it’s a difficult time,” said Joe Cuzzacrea of Peter Bros. “We’re obviously successful, so he figured why not give back to the community? He grew up in Summerland and I grew up in Penticton. Dave had some wonderful stories so we’re remembering those.”

Kampe’s generosity extended far beyond the many donations supporting the hospital. For several years, he ensured youth could attend Vees hockey games, paying for all children’s admissions.

“When you’re in hockey, you move around a lot and in different cities. It’s quite shocking to see a man like Dave and what he gave back to the community. He was pretty impressive, he really cared about the entire city,” said Vees head coach Fred Harbinson, who added Kampe had long been involved with supporting the Vees through Peter Bros but stepped up his efforts about five years ago.

“He just cared about the City of Penticton and the people that were involved in it, and he just had a greater vision.”

Spirits of missing and murdered felt along the Highway of Tears

Penticton’s Robin Edgar Haworth went walking on the notorious Highway of Tears, and shared his story over the roar of the passing semis in May.

He talked about his awareness of the spirits of the mostly Indigenous women who vanished or were found murdered along Yellowhead Highway 16, some of whom he knew personally.

“I can definitely feel the energy of those women as I walk along or when I’m speaking with the creator and making a prayer for them each morning,” said Haworth on day five on his 720-kilometre westward trek to Prince Rupert. “I think about those people a lot, and it’s almost like there is an aura on this highway, and it’s not good, it’s an aura of negativity.”

He also spoke about a raven that landed on a picnic table three days ago at his campsite when he was saying his prayer, taking that as a “sign from the creator” of the relevance of his journey.

“It’s important to keep spreading the word and keep this awareness in the public spotlight about these missing and murdered women,” he said. “I believe there has to be some sort of closure for the families. I don’t think they are getting anywhere with the investigations of the RCMP; I think they’re just a lot of files collecting dust.”

Pushing his three-wheeled cart with his tent and other belongings for the trip inside, Haworth is often asked by those travelling the road about his journey.

“I’ve met many people along the way and stopped and chatted and had many good offerings, all kinds of little goodies along the way, just some incredible people,” said Haworth. “A lady came by yesterday and she was just inquiring about what I was doing and I told her and she came back a couple of hours later with a fresh loaf of banana bread, it was so fresh, right out of the oven it was still hot and steaming when she brought it to me.”

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