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

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Fundraisers bring in more than $5,000 for food bank

Fundraisers organized by several residents in Keremeos brought in thousands for the local food bank.

Kelowna Parkinson’s SuperWalk team donates to local shelter

Good Vibrations donated $300 to Inn from the Cold

Keremeos eyeing 2 per cent tax increase

Early days for Keremeos budget deliberations but predictions are a slight increase.

Penticton teen reunites with paramedics who saved her life 17 years ago

Jayden Arnold was clinically dead when Roy Stanley and Derek Morris arrived to the scene

B.C. wine industry fights for interprovincial trade in Supreme Court

Gerard Comeau likely never thought he would end up in the Supreme… Continue reading

Site C decision coming Monday morning

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at B.C. farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

BC Lions part ways with three coaches

These are the first personnel moves made by new general manager Ed Hervey

Most Read