Jeremy McGoran memorial bench at Rotary Park
Those in need of a few calm moments during life’s storms are invited to take a timeout on a new memorial bench in Rotary Park.
The bench was installed this week in honour of Penticton radio host Jeremy McGoran, who in June lost a long and public battle against mental illness.
His widow, Mare, said the spot in Rotary Park was selected because the family used to picnic on the grass nearby in what is a central location in downtown Penticton with a view of Okanagan Lake.
“I wanted it to be somewhere accessible, somewhere calm, somewhere beautiful,” she explained.
“So my hope is that people will come here when they need a little bit of a break, if they’re going to write in their journal, if they need to talk to someone, that they’ll choose this as a meeting place.”
Additionally, she hopes the bench will serve as a legacy for Jeremy, and that people “will honour that legacy by taking care of themselves.”
The bench was purchased by Mare’s brother, Sean McHale, and his wife, Karin Risi, both of whom live in a Philadelphia.
“The reason we were delighted that the City of Penticton offers the bench dedication program is that we wanted a place we could always visit with our family to remember Jeremy and all he means to us,” the couple said in a statement provided to The Herald.
“We also hope that it will also be a place for everyone who knew Jeremy to be able to go to remember him and all that he enjoyed and struggled with. It may also be a place for people who never knew Jeremy to enjoy his memory.
“It was an honour to have Jeremy as part of our family and an honour to be able to dedicate a bench in his honour.”
Mare praised city staff for presenting a variety of locations for consideration and ensuring the bench was installed ahead of a planned family get-together this weekend.
She said life still feels “unreal” without Jeremy, but that she and their son, Thomas, who’s now in Grade 1, are slowly adjusting to the new normal.
“It’s been a tough three months,” said Mare, a former morning show host on Sun FM who this fall will return to a regular shift on local airwaves as midday host for New Country 100.7 FM.
“We got through the summer with a lot of help from the community, and this (bench) is sort of our way of giving back.”
Jeremy was working as an on-air host for EZ Rock when he revealed publicly in 2016 that he struggled with anxiety and depression, and had been suicidal in the past.
The Langley native recovered with the help of medication and counselling, and was serving as a volunteer board member for the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association at the time of his death at the age of 35.
A memorial bench in honour of former Penticton radio host Jeremy McGoran was installed this week in Rotary Park.