The United Church in BC has become a primary beneficiary of one of the largest charitable donations in BC history.
The late Judith Jardine left close to $35 million to the Vancouver Foundation to establish the W. E. Jardine Memorial Fund. That money will be invested in perpetuity, with one half of its annual income, estimated to be approximately $700,000, to be given each year to the British Columbia Conference.
The other half of the income is for the benefit of the Vancouver Foundation itself. As Canada’s largest Community Foundation, Vancouver Foundation supports the charitable sector in British Columbia.
Other beneficiaries of the estate are the School of Medicine at the University of BC ($6.4 million) and the Vancouver School of Theology ($50,000).
The President of BC Conference, the Rev. 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, and that she wanted to contribute to the life of the denomination as we continue to help nurture the faith lives of others.
“The timing of her gift seems providential for our Conference. We are in a stable financial situation, we have worked hard over the past years on achieving clarity about our priorities, and we have just begun several new, and very exciting, ventures in leadership development and the repurposing of our church properties.
“As of yet, I do not know how this wonderful gift might be used, but people can rest assured it is not going to “shore up” a troubled institution. On the contrary, 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 the present time neither the Vancouver Foundation nor BC Conference know very much about the life and commitments of Judith Jardine. She was born in October 1924, received a Bachelor of Library Sciences and a Master’s degree in French from the University of BC, and served as the Secretary of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver from 1962 to 1979. She attended Ryerson United Church in Vancouver. She passed away in May 2006.
Ms. Jardine’s grandfather was Willard Kitchen, who moved to Vancouver some time before 1914 and became a director of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway and a strong Rotarian. He was also a committed churchman whose funeral was held at Ryerson United Church in 1937. Her mother, Gladys (Kitchen) Jardine was one of the first female lawyers in BC after getting her law degree in New Brunswick. The fund is in memory of Ms. Jardine’s father, William E. Jardine.
Decisions about the use of the new, annual income will be made by the BC Conference Executive, the elected governors of the Conference. Executive Secretary of BC Conference, the Rev. Doug Goodwin, said, “The Conference is already strong, with a good financial foundation. We have recently embarked on several new, ambitious initiatives and we are not rushing to decide how to use this new income. However, I have a feeling it will not take long to ensure this gift is put to active use in exactly the way intended by Ms. Jardine, supporting the United Church in BC.”
A joint public announcement of the gift was made by the Vancouver Foundation and BC Conference on May 23, 2013 at Directions Youth Services Centre in Vancouver.