Walter and Margaret Murby moved around a lot in their lives together – but when they arrived in the South Okanagan, they knew it was a place to call home.
Now Margaret has donated $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation in memory of her husband, who passed away last year.
Walter A. Murby was born in Port Alberni in 1937, but grew up in Vernon. After graduating from high school in the mid-1950s, he immediately got a job as a teller with the local branch of the Bank of Montreal. Walter soon moved to the Lower Mainland, where he met and married Margaret and worked at various BMO locations before being transferred to Toronto in 1969.
The couple and their two children moved to Montreal in the mid-1970s after Walter was promoted to the bank’s head office. Walter was later seconded to the federal government in Ottawa, where he worked for the Anti-Inflation Board and Human Resources for about four years before returning to the Bank of Montreal.
In 1982, Walter was transferred to New York City and the couple lived in the nearby community of Darien, Connecticut. Their children, by then adults, opted to remain in Canada. Their daughter Nadine now lives in Penticton, while son Bud lives near Toronto.
Life in the Big Apple was everything people said it would be, Margaret recalled. “It was great. We would catch the train, go downtown for Broadway plays, all the restaurants, museums. It was really busy.”
Walter retired at age 55 and they decided to travel the continent in their RV in search of a retirement home. This included a trip back to B.C. to see family in 1995, making a chance detour to Summerland and they quickly fell in love with the community.
“It was just beautiful in October – the lake, the mountains, the sky, the colour of the leaves – the wineries, the fruit stands,” she said. “It was so nice after living in big cities, to walk down the street and acknowledge everybody.”
In Summerland, Walter served as president of the Seniors Drop-In Centre, head of the Elks lodge, and president and district governor of the Lions Club.
The Murbys moved to Penticton in 2016 and Walter passed away in May 2017. Margaret said the decision to donate to PRH was an easy one.
“I just think if you’re going to live in a community, you should donate to the community – especially the hospital with so many people using it.”
The SOS Medical Foundation is raising $20 million to provide the medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. The new patient care tower will be ready for patients in April 2019.