Students specializing in early childhood education at Camosun College will learn in a facility built with a bequest from a former delicatessen owner who believed all children deserve support.
Knud Boelt, a Victoria businessman and strong supporter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Victoria, left $1 million to Camosun in his will.
The money will help establish the Pearl and Knud Boelt Early Learning and Care Hub, where child-care educators will be trained. It will be located in the Alex and Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness at the Interurban campus.
Boelt died in 2017, about eight years after his wife Pearl. He owned the International Little Cheese and Wein Shop in the Hillside Shopping Centre until he retired in 1988. Boelt, who was born in Denmark in 1930 and apprenticed as a deli operator, always valued vocational training.
A friend said the Big Brothers slogan was appropriate for Boelt: “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”
Geoff Wilmshurst, vice-president of partnerships for Camosun College, said the gift came as a bit of a shock. “This was completely unexpected, an amazing surprise,” he said.