Vancouver Groups Announce $40 Million Estate Gift

The Vancouver Foundation, the University of British Columbia, and the BC Conference of the United Church of Canada have announced an estate gift of about $40 million from local heiress Judith Jardine.

The gift, the largest single bequest ever received by the seventy-year-old foundation, includes $6.4 million for the UBC Faculty of Medicine and $50,000 for the Vancouver School of Theology. The bulk of the gift, some $34 million, will be used to create the W.E. Jardine Memorial Fund at the Vancouver Foundation, which will support a wide range of community projects and the BC Conference of the United Church.

Jardine, who died in 2006 at the age of 82, never married and had no children or heirs. During her lifetime, she was active in the Vancouver arts community, serving as board secretary of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver from 1962 to 1979 and co-authoring a book on the history of the council. She inherited the wealth made by her grandfather, William Kitchen, who developed and ran railways in New Brunswick throughout his adult life before moving to Vancouver, where he directed the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, which later became BC Rail.

"From what we know about Judith Jardine, she lived a relatively quiet, unassuming life, but upon her death in 2006 she made an uncharacteristically big splash with this bequest," said Vancouver Foundation president and CEO Faye Wightman. "The ripples of her generosity will be felt for generations to come."