SPCA benefits from Oak Bay donor’s bequeath

SPCA capital projects in Greater Victoria being helped with donation

The wishes of an Oak Bay woman who loved animals is helping the Greater Victoria branch of the B.C. SPCA complete some important work.

Part of a $3.5-million bequeath to the animal welfare organization from the late Gladys Cavaghan, who died in late 2009 at 95, is paying for a water line to be run to the Wild Arc Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin.

The estate has been wrapped up for some time, confirmed Cavaghan’s lawyer, former Oak Bay councillor Frank Carson.

Cavaghan’s will stipulated that the money be put toward capital projects for the SPCA in Greater Victoria.

As a young woman, she and her mother were involved with the Winnipeg humane society and Cavaghan remained passionate about animals.

She inherited her wealth after moving to British Columbia, from a neighbour she befriended decades ago. The man, who had suffered a stroke, would walk past her home to go grocery shopping and the two became good friends. Cavaghan often visited and cooked for the man and when he passed away, he left her an inheritance.

In turn, she left a substantial portion of her estate to the SPCA.

Victoria SPCA branch manager Penny Stone said the organization is extremely grateful for the donation, but added that legacy donations can be a double-edged sword in that donations for day-to-day operations that pay for food and care often fall off.