UBC Faculty of Medicine facilities to be named after Melville family

Melvilles’ donated $1.5 million to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation

After donating $1.5 million in 2015 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million PRH equipment campaign, Sylvia and George Melville will now see their name associated with the UBC Faculty of Medicine facilities in the new tower. Photo courtesy of Gemini Visuals Creative Photography

Having their name associated with Penticton Regional Hospital, linking both health and education, was an opportunity that definitely captured George and Sylvia Melville’s attention.

Following the Melvilles’ incredibly generous $1.5 million donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s PRH campaign in 2015, the provincial government has agreed to link their name with the UBC Faculty of Medicine facilities in the hospital’s new patient care tower.

Related: $1.5 million donation to support medical foundation campaign

The Melville UBC Medical Education Centre, to be located on the third floor of the six-storey tower, will include the Melville Library and Melville Conference Room.

Dr. Allan Jones, Regional Associate Dean – Interior for UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, said the new education space will provide an enhanced learning environment for UBC medical students and resident physicians training at Penticton Regional Hospital and nearby communities. It will also provide an excellent teaching environment for the UBC clinical faculty.

“We are truly grateful for George and Sylvia Melville’s commitment to supporting UBC medical education in the South Okanagan,” Jones said.

George, co-founder of the Boston Pizza restaurant chain, and Sylvia are both Penticton Secondary School graduates. Although they moved to the Vancouver area in the mid-1970s, they still return to the Okanagan every summer.

“I think we’re very excited about the merging of education and the delivery of medical care in the community,” George said. “This is our hometown. We both moved around a lot when we were young, but Penticton is where we settled and began to raise our family before we had to move to Vancouver to manage the business better.”

Related: Treliving and Melville named business laureates

“To give back to this community was really important — and this one really resonated with us with the combination of education and deliverance of medical care. It fit perfectly with what we wanted to give to,” he added.

Sylvia said they genuinely feel it’s an honour to help.

“The idea that we would be able to attract medical students and residents and have them see the value of what they can do for the community and their families – to grow a career and a family here – I think is amazing.”

George’s father worked for the Bank of Montreal and the family moved to Penticton from Prince Rupert when George was entering Grade 12. He and Sylvia met while he was articling with a Penticton accounting firm.

Sylvia went on to obtain her education degree from UBC and returned as a teacher at Carmi Elementary School. George continued with his accounting career in Penticton before teaming together with business partner Jim Treliving to launch the internationally successful Boston Pizza chain in the 1970s.

Both their children were born at PRH.

“If it hadn’t been for George needing to be in Vancouver to further his career and his business, I think we would have stayed to raise our children. It’s perfect,” Sylvia said.

The Melvilles attended the hospital ground-breaking ceremony in July 2016 and Sylvia said to now see how far construction of the tower has progressed is very exciting.

The SOS Medical Foundation is raising $20-million to provide the medical equipment for the $312-million PRH expansion. The new tower is due to open in April 2019.

Just Posted

Scammer targets Princeton Christmas hamper campaign

If you get a call…phone police

Video: Update one man arrested in Okanagan Falls

The RCMP has requested the school go into lockdown

Okanagan’s first Christmas was cold and bleak

Father Pandosy and his crew likely spent their first Christmas cold and hungry

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Holiday Train rolls through the Shuswap

Hundreds of people have gathered in Sicamous, Canoe and Salmon Arm for… Continue reading

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read