To leave a legacy is to plant an oak tree in whose shade you will never sit...
The word legacy means little to the young – but perhaps that is the way it should be. When we were young, our lives lay before us. We chose our paths, took on our challenges, savoured our victories and suffered our defeats.
It’s later in life when our legacies take on their importance. A desire to leave a legacy is a desire to know that one’s life has had true meaning. That the living of one’s life has contributed in some small way to the betterment of the world. That living one’s life has improved life for those who follow, and continues to do so. It is a natural and noble desire.
The Greatest Canadian
We all know and celebrate the life and legacy of Tommy Douglas – the little prairie preacher and amateur boxer who became for millions of Canadians the best-loved political leader this country has ever known.
With unparalleled courage and passion, Tommy brought socialized medical care to Saskatchewan – and later led the fight that made Medicare Canada’s most prized national institution. Indeed, no other people in the world takes such pride in its healthcare system. This practical demonstration of compassion and solidarity is the brand of Canadian national identity.
When the CBC ran a national vote to elect "the Greatest Canadian" of all time, Tommy was chosen overwhelmingly because of his passion, his love of humanity and his deep and abiding commitment to our common cause.
A Great Man for Canada
When admirers of Tommy wanted to start a foundation in his name, Tommy insisted that it be named jointly for M.J. Coldwell with whom he had worked closely from 1932 to build a better Canada for the average person.
Both were elected from Saskatchewan as MP’s in 1935. In the 1940’s Tommy went back to lead the Canadian Commonwealth Federation to power in Saskatchewan while M.J. succeeded J. S. Woodsworth as leader of the CCF nationally. During the war, M.J. and his caucus stood up for the rights of Japanese Canadians and after the war pushed for public programs to make life better for all Canadians.
The Douglas-Coldwell Foundation is the living legacy of these two outstanding leaders.
Our invitation to you
The Douglas-Coldwell Foundation gives us all a unique opportunity. It allows us to lift our heads above the fray and look to the horizon. To pause and think about the future a generation from now.
We invite you to join in keeping the social democratic flame alive by making a gift to the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation in your will. Your legacy gift to the DCF will endow our future – and ensure that young Canadians for generations to come will see social democracy as a viable and credible choice for Canadian public life.
Of course, this is not a decision to be taken lightly or quickly. As you ponder the footprint you’ll leave on this world, ask yourself if you don’t want to continue to support the social democratic beliefs and ideals that are an integral part of your personal life.
What is our common cause?
We humans are unique animals in that we have extensive memories – and that we harbour such splendid dreams and hopes for the future.
We on the democratic left share the same dream. We envision a world in peace. A world where every citizen is valued and respected. A world where everyone’s human needs are met – and no one is left behind. A world where our ingenuity and knowledge create a prosperity that is shared by all.
A world of freedom. A world of compassion. A world of undying hope.
This is our dream. This is our common cause. This, we hope, will be our legacy – and yours...
"My father believed that social democracy needed to be constantly renewed. The foundation set up at his request and of which he was first president has encouraged that renewal in many fields, including Medicare, homelessness, antipoverty and youth.
Tommy left us a rich legacy. I would encourage you to consider leaving the Douglas–Coldwell Foundation a legacy in your will so that the legacy of Tommy will be there for our grandchildren."
If you would like to discuss the legacy you are going to leave, please contact us via the form below.