Leaving a legacy for animal habitat
For almost 15 years, Georgia Strait Alliance was honoured to receive financial support from long time Denman Island resident, Margaret Sizmann, who passed away in 2012. But even after her death, Margaret has gone on helping GSA thanks to a decision she made shortly before her death.
Born in Riga, Latvia, in 1920, Margaret and her husband came to Canada by ocean liner in 1953. When the marriage ended, Margaret—always fiercely independent— went to work first as a seamstress, then found long-term employment with an engineering firm in West Vancouver, where she become a draftswoman and designer of pipes for pulp mills.
In 1980 Margaret moved to Denman Island, where she enjoyed gardening and participated in one of the Denman Conservancy Association’s earliest Home and Garden Tours, which became very popular. She enjoyed traveling on her own in her camper van, usually taking along a dog or two, going as far south as the Baja peninsula.
A few years ago, Margaret knew that she had only a short time left to live and needed to write her will. She had no family heirs, so decided to leave her estate to six of her favorite charities. She had always been concerned about the welfare of animals, so she included two that focus on animal welfare and rescue, along with three that work on the protection of wildlife habitat (Georgia Strait Alliance, Denman Island Conservancy and the Canadian Wildlife Federation).
It’s hard for most of us to imagine how our own estate might benefit our communities long after we’re gone. Margaret set a wonderful example, in thinking ahead and taking action to ensure that her legacy could help the animals she loved and the environment upon which they depend. We’re grateful for her decision to support GSA and other worthy charities in this way, and we are putting her final gift to the
most effective use possible.
Thanks to members of the Denman Island Conservancy for the photo of Margaret and the information in this article.