Saudi Arabia a cool life experience for PRH donors


Carole Henderson of Penticton and her late husband Clive, have donated $30,000 to help equip the PRH expansion.

Living in Saudi Arabia was an experience of a lifetime, but retirement in Penticton also has plenty of benefits, says Carole Henderson.

Now Carole and her late husband Clive Henderson are donating $30,000 to help provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion.

Born in Winnipeg, Carole, a registered nurse, was working as a flight attendant for Trans Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) in 1960 when she met Clive who was an electronic technician for CAE, an aerospace firm in Montreal.

He completed a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physics at Sir George Williams University after their marriage and became the Montreal manager for Lenkurt, a Burnaby-based telecommunications company.

In 1978, Clive was hired by the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) as a microwave engineer in project management and they moved to Saudi Arabia. “They were putting in a microwave system across the country from east to west to cover the oil pipeline.  Communications were very limited when we first moved there.  Of course, microwave was the big deal at the time,” Carole said.

They lived in Dhahran, the administrative centre for ARAMCO.  Carole was employed at the Dhahran Health Center on the patient wards, in medical records, before eventually working in utilization review and risk management.

“It was wonderful – just living there and the people there. We were also able to travel a lot because we were close to so many areas in the Far East which were probably impossible for us to get to from Canada in those days.”

After living in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade, Carole and Clive opted to retire in Penticton in 1989.  Carole noted she still maintains contact with some of the friends they made in Saudi Arabia.

Clive, who formerly served in the navy, joined the Royal Canadian Naval Veterans Association Penticton branch and was president for a term.  He passed away from cancer in August 2008 at age 72.

Carole gained further nursing education in BC by completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UVic in 1994, offered through Okanagan College in Kelowna.

Her parents lived at the Brookhaven care facility in West Kelowna for several years before her father passed away in 1996 and her mother in 2001.

Carole was an active member of the former Canadian Club in Penticton in the 1990s and served for a term as its president.  She met several people in the community through that organization and was also a long-time member of the Canadian Federation of University Women.

Carole said she is very pleased to be able to donate through the Hendersons’ trust fund to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million PRH equipment campaign. In recognition of the donation,  the Province has agreed to have one of the 84 patient rooms in the new hospital tower named the “Carole and Clive Henderson Trust Room”.

The new PRH tower is scheduled to be ready for patients in April 2019 after which work will begin on Phase 2, including a major upgrade to the hospital’s Emergency Department.