Many long-time Penticton residents are probably familiar with the last name Meiklejohn, which established its first architecture firm in the city more than 60 years ago.
Ever since Carol and her late husband, Roy, moved to the area and opened their practice back in 1953 they’ve been committed to investing in the community.
The couple adopted that same mindset when they started the Meiklejohn Family Fund through the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen in September of 2001.
However, rather than being specific in where the money would be distributed they wanted to leave it to the discretion of the Community Foundation.
“It seemed like a very good idea and for us, it was kind of an investment in the community and we had so much based in the way Penticton was developing and we were thinking of Penticton at that point not the larger area,” said Carol. “We may have had preferences but because we wanted the money to go where it was probably needed most we thought that it was better that the organization decided where they put the money.”
The Meiklejohns raised four boys in the city (three are architects; the other is a musician), were involved in many aspects of the community and felt strongly about Penticton and its positive relationship with their business.
“I think it’s important as a citizen of a community, I think you have a responsibility to be involved in what happens as far as it develops,” she said. “We weren’t alone in this but there were so many people that felt that there was that responsibility and were quite happy to be involved in contributing.”
When they began exploring options for establishing a fund Carol and Roy had already heard of the Community Foundation.
“It was quite new at that point and we were just quite eager to be part of that and being able to contribute seemed like such a good idea,” she said. “I think the Foundation has been quite good at keeping us, keeping me informed and every year I get some information about where the money went, who received the funds.”
Carol was raised in Vancouver and Roy wound up in the army in Vernon. By the time they married both had fallen in love with the Okanagan Valley and especially Penticton.
“We felt that if we could make a go of it here then this is where we wanted to be,” she said.
Carol said they felt good about the Community Foundation and trusted that the money would be invested wisely to create a fund that would continue to increase in revenue as time passed. She feels because a fund grows and continues in perpetuity it bodes well for the future of the Foundation and for fund holders such as herself.
“I think that’s very important and that should encourage people that have questions to contribute because they know the basic funds will always be there and will continue to grow so there will be more money available every year,” said Carol.