Red Feather honours decades of giving

Oak Bay woman recognized for contributions to United Way Greater Victoria

Oak Bay’s Betty Kennedy was recently celebrated at United Way Greater Victoria’s annual Red Feather reception at Government House.

Volunteering to interview organizations in need of funding, back in her younger days, serves as a small reminder for Dr. Betty Kennedy of why she continues to give to the United Way Greater Victoria.

“I realized there were a lot, even then, that I hadn’t heard of,” says the Oak Bay woman. “There are things I donate to that I know about and love, like the symphony and Royal BC Museum, but there are all sorts of other organizations out there to help people that I don’t know about.”

For those other organizations, the ones she doesn’t know about, she trusts the United Way Greater Victoria to know where to divest funds.

“I say area of greatest need,” she said, confident UWGV has the expertise needed.

The umbrella charity recently recognized Kennedy, 93, as a United Way Red Feather Donor to celebrate her 50-plus years of dedication to the community.

“Betty is a valued and dedicated patron who shares our vision to improve life for thousands of local citizens,” said Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way Greater Victoria. “Her generosity helps enable United Way to fund hundreds of community programs benefitting those most in need in Greater Victoria.”

Kennedy gives back for a “mish mash of reasons” that includes simply the way she – and husband Gilbert Kennedy – were raised. “There are a lot of people out there doing a lot of good things,” she said. “An awful lot of people spend money on things I just don’t spend money on.”

Kennedy was born in Victoria, raised in Burnaby, and grew up with a strong moral code grounded in education, close family ties, and a commitment to give. When you don’t find her gardening at their Galiano Island home, she hangs out at here in Oak Bay, a stone’s throw from the shore.

Kennedy completed her BA in mathematics with honours from the University of British Columbia and began teaching as a lecturer the following year. It was there she met Gilbert. He completed a doctorate of law at Harvard University in 1956 and the couple returned to Victoria 1957. Kennedy started at UVic and stayed for 22 years. Gilbert served as BC Deputy Attorney General from 1957 to 1972, remaining in the department to 1982.

The couple adopted three children, and the two surviving daughters have proffered two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren for her to enjoy.

The Royal BC Museum is among her other longtime commitments, having served as a volunteer and board chair. She’s also served as committee chair for UVic’s Finnerty Gardens.

Kennedy also chaired the Canadian Junior Mathematic Competition for BC, was a founding secretary for the BC College and University Program in Mathematics, and chaired the Canadian Mathematic Olympiad. Additionally, she’s held many positions with Girl Guides of Canada, earning their Medal of Merit, and volunteered with the United Way’s community chest and allocations committee.

“The joy is in the learning, the doors that open, the people you meet who care and want to do things that are worthwhile,” she said. “If you believe in something, you should do something about it.”

 

Just Posted

Greater Victoria teachers experienced more than 30 incidents of violence from students in one month

Shuttered behavioural programs, lack of resources creates challenges for local schools

Island playoffs underway at Oak Bay High

Home team vies for fifth straight Island title

Esquimalt High robotics team heads to international competition

The Esquimalt Atom Smashers will participate in the FIRST Robotics Canada competition

Canadian alcohol policy gets failing grade from UVic researchers

Canadian provinces and territories collectively achieved less than half of their potential to reduce alcohol related harm

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read