Donor Story: Philip Goodhall

Philip was born in Haslingden, north of Manchester, in Lancashire. He was educated at Baines Grammar School which had been established in 1717 for, ‘the promotion of Godliness and good learning’. A memorable school motto indeed. Philip had hoped to become an engineer with Bristol Aviation but that was not to be. There was a desperate shortage of male teachers in Britain after World War II, so after completing his three year compulsory National Service in the army, Philip was sent to teacher training.

He loved teaching and after marrying Sheila (a nurse from Calgary working abroad in London) he received a call from an old school friend, suggesting that the couple should relocate to Canada. Philip had a pre-arranged job in an elementary school in Calgary and he began the job the day after Sheila and he arrived. After obtaining his Bachelor and Masters in Education from Canadian universities, it was not long before he was appointed principal of an elementary school.

He modestly remarked that he had progressed in his career and was even invited to study further at London University. Philip and Sheila subsequently moved back to England, but not for long. After completing the course they returned to Calgary and Philip was given a two year post as head of the Language Department for all Calgary schools.

A love of good wine led Sheila and Philip to the Opimian Society, is a non-profit wine purchasing co-operative based in Montreal. It was not long before Philip became the Alberta agent and thus traveled the world meeting other enthusiasts, growers and vintners all over Europe, South Africa and Australia. Philip remarked that, “a little lad from cotton and coal in Lancashire met the best vintners in the world”.

After a brief bout of illness Philip was persuaded to take early retirement from his career in Alberta. Sheila’s sister was living in Victoria at the time and Philip knew they wanted to be closer to each other. After years on the prairies he and Sheila relocated to Brentwood Bay where they lived happily for nearly twenty years.

Later on, Sheila became very ill and was brought to Saanich Peninsula Hospital under the care of Dr. Ambrose Marsh. While she was here Philip visited her every day. He remembers the kindness and the care shown to Sheila by all staff. He is grateful that her last few days were spent in that wonderful atmosphere and he recalled how on one visit he had a small bottle of wine with him. He asked Sheila if she would like a glass of wine and her reply was, “Why not? We are on holiday, aren’t we?” Philip has continued to foster his relationship with Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Foundation and believes that legacy gifts help to ensure an organization’s long term success. A long-time donor with a fascinating past, it is clear to see that he has a heart of gold; one only has to look to his lifetime dedicated to education, his care for his family and his generous support of our hospital.

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