A legacy left many years ago still benefits acute care in the Comox Valley and will continue to enhance healthcare in our community for many years to come.
Phyllis Capes, a woman who led an extraordinary life, left a legacy that is just as remarkable.
Young Phyllis Capes and her sister Katherine enjoyed the outdoors, romping the forests and wetlands of the Comox Valley and exploring local mountains like Mt. Arrowsmith as members of the Comox Valley Mountaineering Club.
While Katherine went on to become one of Canada’s first female archaeologists, Phyllis focused on nature conservation, habitat protection, and sustaining the delicate and diverse environment of the Comox Valley. She established Seal Bay Park and campaigned to protect Macdonald Wood Park.
When planning her estate, Phyllis designated her two-acre property in Comox to support acute care in the Comox Valley and stipulated that the natural state of the property, which features woodland and wetland, always be protected.
After Phyllis passed away in 1996, for more than 20 years, her house supported local healthcare as accommodation for locums working at the hospital. In 2013, the Foundation signed a covenant with the Comox Valley Land Trust to protect the woodland and wetlands around her home and ensure that Phyllis’ wishes remain honoured for all time.
In January 2015, Phyllis’ house sold. Proceeds from the sale were designated to the purchase of medical equipment for the hospital and realtor Marc Villanueva graciously donated his commission as well. A portion of Phyllis’ estate has been used to purchase technology, such as an x-ray image reader for diagnostic imaging, and a special point-of-care ultrasound unit used in the operating room to safely administer spinal blocks and insert central lines for critically ill patients. Both pieces of equipment were vital to the old hospital and were transferred to the new Comox Valley Hospital in 2017.
The legacy and integrity of the Phyllis Capes Estate continues to live on, supporting our local hospital and our community.