Jake Kimberley

A three-term Penticton mayor who currently serves as a city councillor remained in hospital Friday recovering from a stroke.

Jake Kimberley fell ill around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, his family said in a statement.

“He was admitted immediately to Penticton Regional Hospital and remains there under the care of an excellent team of nurses, doctors and therapists,” the statement said.

“Recovering from such an event is often a long process, and we’re hopeful Jake will soon be active again in the community he so loves.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, visitors are not permitted at PRH.

“The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to Jake’s neighbours, the paramedics at BC Ambulance, and the emergency health care staff at Penticton Regional Hospital for their quick response and diligent care,” the statement concluded.

Mayor John Vassilaki, another long-time city politician, said Kimberley is a close friend “and has been ever since the first day I met him.”

“It’s a sad situation that we find him in now and I just wish him all the best with a complete, quick recovery so that he can come back to city council,” said Vassilaki.

“He’s a tough guy, so I’m sure he’s going to weather this storm.”

Kimberley, 80, was born and raised in the UK, before immigrating to Canada with his wife, Kate, in 1966. The couple, who had two sons, fell in love with the Okanagan after visiting on their honeymoon.

A carpenter by trade, his political career began with a term on council from 1987 to 1990, after which he was elected to two consecutive terms as mayor, before falling to challenger Beth Campbell in 1996.

Kimberley made history in July 1991 when he read the Riot Act from a police car after mayhem broke out downtown following an MC Hammer concert.

He returned to politics in 2005 by winning a third term as mayor, during which he launched his signature project, the South Okanagan Events Centre, but was stopped in his re-election bid by Dan Ashton.

Kimberley remained active in the community, and began flirting with politics again in 2016, when he helped lead opposition to a proposed waterslides development in Skaha Park.

He officially emerged from retirement and topped the polls in the October 2018 municipal election. In addition to serving on council, he also sits as one of four Penticton directors on the board of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

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Anyone interested in sending their regards to Kimberley can email chafox7@icloud.com or drop off a note at PRH.