Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Maritime Museum receives $1 million donation from Victoria woman’s estate


A Victoria woman left a significant chunk of money to the Maritime Museum from her estate following her death. 

Cora Shaw passed away in March of 2022 and was a long-time supporter of the Maritime Museum. Shaw made sure to have her will reflect her love for the “essential importance” of Victoria’s maritime history.

She left approximately $1 million to the museum which will now be held as part of the J.E. (Ted) Browne and Cora E. (Browne) Shaw Fund—the fund created on her and her late husband’s behalf. 

This is the largest sum of money to be donated to the museum. 

“Our Board and staff are immensely grateful for this kind of generous community leadership and support,” said Jamie Webb, President of the Maritime Museum of BC. 

“Mrs. Shaw had the foresight to invest in the maritime legacy of our community, and for that, we should all be thankful.”

“These funds will be key to advancing our long-time goal of establishing a permanent new museum in Victoria’s historic Steamship Terminal Building.”

The donation couldn’t come at a better time considering the museum’s move to the Steamship Terminal where the Bateman Gallery has been until they recently announced their move in late February.


Victoria’s Bateman Gallery set to leave Steamship Terminal after 10 years

The latest move to the Steamship Terminal will mark the fourth move the Maritime Museum has had to make. 

The museum was opened in Esquimalt in 1955 and shortly after they gained non-profit society status. 

They moved into the historic courthouse building in Bastion Square in 1963-1964 where they operated until October 2014 when the provincially owned building had to undergo seismic upgrading.

The museum then packed up and moved to Humboldt Street in July 2015 before moving once more to their current Douglas Street location in 2021. 

Now they’ll be able to make the move to the Steamship Terminal thanks to the Shaw’s donation and through the museum, her legacy will live on.

Shaw was born in Victoria in 1926 and continued to live here for most of her life. She was known to be a driven woman who focused on her community. 

She spent time on the Library Board, the Community Arts Council and she frequently taught handweaving to her community members. 

She traveled the globe having spent time on every continent along with her husband, Ted Browne who passed away in 1988. 

“This donation is significant for us,” said Brittany Vis, Executive Director of the Maritime Museum of BC. 

“As the largest bequest we have received to date, it is going to be set aside to support our ongoing operations, providing us with secure funds year after year.” 

“This will contribute to our stability and helps us plan for the long-term as we preserve and promote BC’s maritime heritage and culture.”

Curtis Blandy

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