Jack Bell was born in 1913 in Montreal. He attended the University of British Columbia and received a degree in 1934. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and on his return to Canada, became involved in the peat moss industry.
He pioneered cranberry farming in the province; he was the first commercial grower, planting three acres in 1946. He founded Greenacres Golf Course in the Lower Mainland and has been or remains a director on the boards of the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation, the Richmond Foundation, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Society and the Jack Bell Foundation.
With the ample fruits of his life-long labour, Jack Bell set about to see that his resources benefitted those around him. The results are seen across the spectrum of British Columbia society: he has contributed most generously – to the Vancouver General Hospital research centre that bears his name, to gerontology at the hospital, to a longhouse for Native Indian students at UBC, and to UBC itself.
The list is much longer. His life has been characterized by his generosity and support of others. And he has made a difference in the course of many lives, whether it was a business associate or a student receiving an anonymous gift of desperately needed tuition money.
Mr. Bell has taken a very human and personal interest in the care of the elderly and the terminally ill, through the foundation that bears his name. This has involved many years of hard work, investing his own money to do research and talking to the medical profession. Jack Bell’s kindness and compassion set him apart as a very rare and outstanding British Columbian.