Penticton hospital receives half million donation from Kaleden man

Douglas Dewar made an incredibly generous $500,000 donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation.

Douglas Dewar

Douglas Dewar

From barges to helicopters, Douglas Dewar’s business background extends well beyond the picturesque locale of the Banbury Green campground in Kaleden.

Dewar has made an incredibly generous $500,000 donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide medical equipment for the new Patient Care Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

Dewar’s family involvement with the Banbury property extends back to the early 1940s when the lakefront plot was purchased by his parents.

Living in Vancouver, Douglas’s mother, Amy, developed a lung ailment while his father was away during the Second World War.  Seeking a drier climate, she came to Penticton and stayed at the old Incola Hotel.

“Out of pure boredom, she took up horseback riding. One day she rode down here (to Kaleden) and found Banbury Point.”

Captain F.C. Banbury was killed overseas during the First World War and irrigation water to the farm had been shut down. The nearly 70-acre property was basically abandoned. Amy Dewar contacted Banbury’s parents in England and they agreed to sell the Kaleden property.

Construction of the Dewars’ home was completed in 1941. Douglas attended Penticton High School in 1942 and ’43, before he went to live with his grandmother in West Vancouver where he graduated from high school and went onto UBC for five years.

Douglas Dewar found employment with the Standard Oil Company in 1952.  In 1960, he married Looe Baker, whose father, Ralph Baker, was the president of the company.  “I didn’t think that it was a good thing to work for a company where your father-in-law was the CEO,” he said with a laugh.

Dewar then went into the oil barge business, serving remote communities and logging camps up and down the B.C. coast.  He also became involved with several other companies over the years, including Okanagan Helicopters, which would later become known as Canadian Helicopters (now HNZ).

Douglas Dewar served as a company director from 1967 to 1981. He and partner John Pitts eventually acquired control of the helicopter firm even though they only owned about 6.5 per cent of the shares at the time.

“In the late 1970s, it became a top 100 Canadian company on the TSX,” he recalled. “When we sold that company, I think we had over 100 machines (helicopters).”

All the while, Douglas and his family would travel up to Kaleden each summer to stay at his family home at Banbury Point.

By the mid-1980s, taxes on the lakefront property jumped dramatically and they opted to open the Banbury Green campground as an additional source of income. The beautiful treed property includes a vineyard and 65 campsites with three full-time year-round employees.

Now retired at age 87 and residing most of the year in the family’s 75-year-old house, Douglas is pleased to donate to the SOS Medical Foundation’s campaign.

His mother Amy died in Penticton Regional Hospital in 1960, while his wife Looe passed away at PRH in May 2014.

“I believe charity should always begin at home,” he said. “I’m quite happy to spend my money in Penticton.”

Construction of the new Patient Care Tower at PRH will get underway next spring and should be completed by late 2019.

The SOS Medical Foundation welcomes all donations. Naming opportunities are also in place, in which applications can be made to name rooms and clinics in the hospital for those who donate at least $30,000. For more information call 250-492-9027.


Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Cheetahs can’t roar

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Highway 3, east of Osoyoos was closed all Monday due to a liquid tar spilled all over the road.
Highway 3, east of Osoyoos, is now open to single lane traffic

The highway was closed all Monday due to liquid tar spilled all over the road

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

( photo)
No COVID-19 baby boom in Summerland

Pandemic has not resulted in surge in births in 2020 and 2021

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Kelowna artist Bobby Vandenhoorn recently completed mural of late Canadian rock icon and activist Gord Downie now adorns Brenda Dalzell’s Sicamous business, the Bruhn Crossing Urban Market. (Contributed)
Canadian rock legend, activist Gord Downie inspires Sicamous mural

Business owner hopes artwork will help foster ongoing conversations around reconciliation

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Most Read