Ruth Elisabeth Chisnell


The Legacy of Ruth Elisabeth Chisnell

Ruth Elisabeth Haywood was born in Medicine Hat, AB in 1923. Her father was a third-generation Canadian and her mother was Hungarian. They moved to Victoria in the early 1940s, where they lived in retirement for forty-two years.

The majority of Ruth’s professional career was with Canadian External Affairs with postings to Montevideo, Paris, Delhi and New York. In 1970 she married British cavalry officer and advertising executive, John Ernest Chisnell, and moved to Toronto.

On his retirement in 1986 they travelled and moved extensively to their homes in Quebec, London and Mallorca before finally settling in Arizona in 1988 and in Val des Monts, QC. Wherever they were living they never missed a stay in their adored Victoria.

Ruth’s active charity work in Arizona was devoted to the Circumnavigators Club and the English-Speaking Union, particularly as her husband was Phoenix Branch President and National Board member.

Throughout her life, her constant interest in different cultures, their history, art, music and literature, nurtured her ever increasing knowledge and appreciation. Therefore, it was natural for her to establish scholarships to encourage the next generation to benefit from her experience, love of the arts and kindness. Fortunately, some of this was reflected during her lifetime in her St. Andrew’s College Foundation scholarships that were already awarded to a series of students.

Ruth has also established the following endowed funds to the University of Victoria:

  • The Charles and Ruth Haywood Memorial Scholarships in English Literature;
  • The Charles and Ruth Haywood Memorial Emergency Fund;
  • The Ruth Haywood Memorial Bursary in Music;
  • The Charles and Ruth Haywood Memorial Bursary in Music;
  • The Charles and Ruth Haywood Memorial Bursary in English Literature.

This was her legacy: a wish that her parents, and indeed herself, with humility, would be remembered in this precious light.

For more information on leaving a gift in your Will to UVic, please contact Kristy Colpron  or 250-721-8967.