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Geologist generous

Lisa Scott
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 17/04) - A non-profit organization in Yellowknife expects to possibly quadruple the amount of cash it doles out in grants after a large bequest from a former Northerner.

NNSL Photo

A bequest from the estate of Don Hurd, a geologist whose love for the North continued even after he moved away, will triple or quadruple the assets of the Yellowknife Community Foundation. - photo courtesy of Yellowknife Community Foundation

Don Hurd died last year in Winnipeg at the age of 77. The geologist and resident of Yellowknife in the 1940s left a large undisclosed amount of money to the Yellowknife Community Foundation upon his death.

Currently, grants are siphoned out of the interest from $300,000 worth of capitol investments in $500 to $1,000 amounts, according to Leanne Tait, vice-president of the organization.

"It's wonderful news for us. It allows us to focus more of our energy on meeting our mandate," Tait said.

Hurd came to Yellowknife in 1945 to join the Geological Survey of Canada before becoming the geologist at Con Mine.

He left the North soon after, but continued to return to the city with wife Alice throughout the years.

During that time he donated thousands of dollars to the foundation. The news of the bequest was exciting and surprising for the foundation executive.

"Obviously the North got under his skin. It was his very quiet way of doing things," said foundation president Tom Hall.

The foundation aims to improve the quality of life in Yellowknife through grants to arts, culture, sports, educational and charitable groups.

With the cash windfall, Tait expects it will be able to triple or quadruple the grants given out of the general community fund, either by increasing the number of grants available or by enlarging their worth.

At the request of Hurd's widow, the exact numbers involved will not be released. The funds will be available once the estate is finalized in the coming months.