PRH donor reflects link to Penticton’s past

Photo cutline information: Stan and Helen McPherson have reason to smile following a $35,000 donation to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s campaign to provide the medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion. Stan is perhaps best known for his decades-long ties with Grant King Men’s Wear in downtown Penticton.

Following Stan McPherson’s link to Grant King Men’s Wear is much like journeying back into Penticton’s past.

Born and raised in Summerland, Stan started working for Grant King on March 17, 1947. He was 20 years old at the time. Stan would eventually become a partner and later sole owner of the store in the 300-block of Main Street.

McPherson has now donated $35,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to help provide the medical equipment for the current expansion of Penticton Regional Hospital.

Looking back at those early years, McPherson noted his father bought the building in 1936 which at the time housed Triangle Motors  a Ford dealership and garage.

There were three stores in there after he renovated it in 36  Overwaitea, D.K. Gordon’s Meats, and a men’s wear store which ultimately went broke, he said. Those were tough times.

Grant King took over the men’s wear premises in 1939 and Stan started working there eight years later. The store was half its present size.

We got along really well, Grant and I. He was sort of a semi-father figure, being 15 years older than I was, he recalled.

Stan McPherson’s portion of the partnership gradually grew over the years, taking over complete ownership of the store in 1973. However, he opted to keep the existing store name.

The Grant King name had been operating for several years here and I just thought we should just leave it, he said. It worked out really well, actually.

It has now been 77 years since Grant King opened the store. The same business has been owned by just two families over the decades. The store remains in the McPherson family, owned since 1988 by Stan’s son Doug and his wife Karen. Grant King passed away in 2001.

Stan has been very active in community affairs over the years, including being a member of the 1979 downtown revitalization committee. He also helped establish the Apex Mountain ski operation in the winter of 1961-62 and was a long-time member of the Penticton Kiwanis Club and Jaycees. After his retirement, he chaired the Penticton and District Retirement Centre board in the late 1980s and early 90s and is still an active volunteer with the Japanese Garden Society.

Stan said his donation to the SOS Medical Foundation reflects his family’s support of the local hospital. Four generations of the McPherson family have used Penticton Regional Hospital at one time or another over the years.

I think it’s great for the whole South Okanagan-Similkameen to have an up-to-date facility here, he said. It’s long overdue.

Construction of the $312.5-million patient care tower at PRH is well underway and should be ready for patients by early 2019.