Okanagan couple donates to Penticton Regional Hospital in memory of sisters

Jim and Marcia Cavin donate $30,000 in memory of their late sisters

Maureen Cavin, the second person remembered through a $30,000 donation by the Cavin family to the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. Submitted photo

The memory of their sisters comes alive for Marcia and Jim Cavin through a major gift to Penticton Regional Hospital.

The Penticton area couple are donating $30,000 to help supply medical equipment for the PRH expansion in memory of Marcia’s sister, Mauna Hamilton – and Jim’s sister, Maureen, both of whom passed away years ago.

Marcia noted her older sister Mauna was diagnosed with schizophrenia in January 1967 when she was 18. Mauna would spend the next 25 years in various mental health facilities until she passed away in 1992 at age 43.

“It overtook her life. She just couldn’t handle it, and back then there was no medication that worked for her,” Marcia said. “Like most people with schizophrenia, she was never violent to anybody, but was usually off in her own world.”

Growing up on the family’s farm in the hamlet of Bluevale in southwestern Ontario, Mauna often had difficulties relating to people – but not so with animals.

Marcia recalled her parents allowing a stallion to be boarded on their farm. Like many race horses, it was a very high-strung animal. “He was really quite dangerous. You had to watch him – he would kick and bite,” she said.

One day, Marcia went down to the stable to water and feed the horse, when she spotted her sister alone with a perfectly calm animal.

“There was Mauna in the stall with the stallion, petting him. Anybody else, he’d have bitten or kicked. She just had a way with animals.”

Jim’s sister Maureen had a major health problem of her own – a hole in her heart. She passed away in August 1958 during surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Maureen was just seven years old.

“I was only four, so I have very limited memories of her,” Jim said. “I do remember her going to the hospital for this operation, but she didn’t come home.”

Related: Light up the Peach, support the PRH

Jim said with the advances in medical care over the years, such a heart problem today wouldn’t have been nearly so traumatic. “They fix them as babies before they even go home sometimes. The techniques now are so advanced compared to 1958,” he said. “But back then, it was still early days.”

Marcia met Jim when she was 17, visiting relatives in Vancouver with her mother.

“Jim went to school with my cousin, and she saw him on the bus one day and said: ‘Oh, my cousin is coming out from Ontario. You should come over and take her out,’” Marcia recalled. “He did come over and we did go out – and here we are.”

Related: Foundation Notes: Everyone pitching in to support PRH expansion

After high school, Marcia moved in with her cousin’s family in Richmond. She and Jim got married two years later.

Jim worked for the Bank of Montreal at the time and the couple moved to various locations around Western and Northern Canada, including a three-year stint in Whitehorse. They later moved to Grande Prairie, Alberta where Jim sold heavy equipment.

In 1983, Jim and Marcia moved to Edmonton where they stayed for the next 27 years. They retired to Penticton in 2010.

The Cavins say their decision to donate to PRH through the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation campaign in memory of their siblings was an easy decision.

“One of them was a child and the other was child-like”, said Marcia. “We want to remember them in a unique way.”



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.


Mauna Hamilton, one of two people remembered through a major donation by the Cavin family to the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. Submitted photo

Just Posted

A campaign encourages families to put down their phones and talk this Mother’s Day

OpenTable’s #DiningMode gets Okanagan restaurants on board with a no phone policy while dining

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

Olympian Andi Naude retires from freestyle skiing

Penticton native skied in 62 World Cup single and dual moguls events in her career

Federal funding helps women at risk safely leave sex trade

The SAFE eXiting from the Sex Trade program in South Okanagan helps women

Syrup commercially produced from Summerland maple trees

Maple Roch produces 50 bottles of syrup after trees in the community were tapped

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

Okanagan experience for the Blue Man Group

The world tour of the Blue Man Group came to Penticton this week for two shows.

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Okanagan College names new fundraising director

Helen Jackman will join the college as executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and director of advancement

Most Read