Announcing the receipt of one of the largest charitable bequests in BC history — approximately $40 million from the estate of Judith Jardine.
May 23, 2013 — Vancouver heiress Judith Jardine bequeaths $40 million to three beneficiaries
Vancouver Foundation, the University of British Columbia and the BC Conference of The United Church of Canada today announced the receipt of one of the largest charitable bequests in BC history – approximately $40 million from the estate of Judith Jardine.
Little is known about Judith Jardine. She was sole heir to the wealth of the Kitchen/Jardine families of Vancouver. In her will, Jardine left part of her estate ($6.4 million) to the UBC Faculty of Medicine and $50,000 to the Vancouver School of Theology. The bulk of her estate (approximately $34 million) was bequeathed to Vancouver Foundation, to create a permanent endowment that supports the Foundation and the BC Conference of the United Church. In total, the donationamounts to about $40 million.
“We were completely surprised by this generous estate gift,” said Vancouver Foundation President and CEO Faye Wightman. “It’s the largest single bequest Vancouver Foundation has received in its 70-year history.”
“Judith Jardine is a bit of an enigma to us. She never had a fund with Vancouver Foundation. But she appears to have done her research, and we are honoured that she decided to put her trust in our community expertise.”
Part of the proceeds of the estate will come from the sale of the family home “WilMar Estate” at 2050 SW Marine Drive, estimated to be worth approximately $8.5 million, as well as numerous investments. The bequest of Judith Jardine was made in the memory of her father, William Jardine, to set up a fund called the W.E. Jardine Memorial Fund. When invested, the estimated $34 million W.E. Jardine Memorial Fund, which will be managed by Vancouver Foundation, will generate about $1.4 million in income every year. As instructed by her will, income generated from the fund will be split in two — half going to BC Conference of the United Church, and half to Vancouver Foundation. The Foundation will use its portion of the annual income from the fund (approximately $700,000 per year) to support a wide variety of worthwhile community projects in BC.
The President of BC Conference, the Reverend Jenny Carter, stated “this is an amazing, hugely generous, and unexpected gift. I am heartened to know that The United Church of Canada was such a part of Judith Jardine’s life that she wanted to contribute to the life of the church as we continue to help nurture the faith lives of others. Judith Jardine’s generosity will allow us to bring even more wonderful and exciting things to the people of this Conference, the likes of which I can only imagine!”
At Judith Jardine’s request, the estate gift to UBC will go towards medical research and medical student scholarship. A permanent endowment has been created and named the Willard Kitchen Memorial Fund to commemorate her maternal grandfather. “We are extremely grateful to Ms. Jardine for supporting medical education and research at UBC,” said Dr. Gavin Stuart, UBC Dean of Medicine and Vice Provost, Health. “Her generosity will make an indelible difference in the lives of British Columbians through the training of future doctors and advancement of life-saving research.”
Judith Jardine was born October 4, 1924 to Gladys (Kitchen) Jardine and William Jardine. Judith’s maternal grandfather, Willard Kitchen, lived and worked in New Brunswick building railways, where he apparently amassed his fortune. After moving with his family to Vancouver, he became a director of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, which later became BC Rail.
Judith was active in Vancouver’s arts community, serving as board secretary of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver from 1962 to 1979 and co-authored a book on the history of the council. She never married and had no children or heirs. She suffered from dementia in her final years, and passed away on May 7, 2006 at the age of 82.
“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 Ms. Wightman. “The ripples of her generosity will be felt for generations to come.” ~Vancouver Foundation
With almost 1,500 funds and assets of more than $814 million, Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation. Since it was founded in 1943, Vancouver Foundation, in partnership with its donors, has distributed more than $917 million to thousands of community projects and programs.
The UBC Faculty of Medicine provides innovative programs in the health and life sciences, teaching students at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, and generates more than $200 million in research funding each year.
BC Conference, the United Church of Canada
BC Conference provides administrative and personnel support as well as executive oversight to almost 200 United Churches, 10 regional presbyteries and numerous ministries throughout most of British Columbia. It is one of 13 Conferences of The United Church of Canada, the second largest Christian denomination in Canada after the Roman Catholic Church.
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