Praise heaped on Budleigh Salterton’s secret millionaire

THE GENEROSITY of a Budleigh Salterton man who split nearly �2 million between six organisations in his will has prompted further praise.

Kind-hearted John ‘Mac’ McBurnie Wood, of Copp Hill Lane, left �300,000 apiece for Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club, the town’s croquet club, Shandford Residential Care Home, the RNLI, PDSA and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

A former accountant who made his wealth in stocks and shares, Mr McBurnie Wood, who was a member of several clubs in the town, died last June.

Details of his estate were obtained by The Journal last week – in which representatives from Shandford and both Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club and croquet club expressed how delighted they were.

Staff from the three additional beneficiaries have now spoken of how pleased they are with the donation.

Kate Ireland, legacy manager for the RNLI, said: “It was a wonderful gesture.

“We are incredibly grateful. Every legacy is a potential lifesaver no matter how small or large.”

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Ms Ireland said Mr McBurnie Wood donated the money for the ‘general purposes of the RNLI’, with the freedom to be used in whatever way the saw fit.

Mr McBurnie Wood, known locally as ‘Mac’ and who would often be seen walking a white poodle, had no children. His wife died a number of years ago.

Anne Frater, head of finance at the Guide Dogs for the Blind, said the gift would be used in support of its mission to increase mobility and independence for blind and partially sighted people across the UK,” she added.

“Without gifts in wills, two out of three guide dogs wouldn’t exist and this support is vital in funding the services that will help thousands of people with visual impairment live more independent lives.

“Guide Dogs is extremely grateful for the remarkable generosity shown by Mr McBurnie Wood.”

A spokesperson for the PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity, said they were thrilled with the donation.

Mr McBurnie Wood, who was staying at a residential home before his death, was fond of dogs and often volunteered to work on stalls at jumble sales in aid of the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity.

He was a member not just at Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club but also the local croquet club and used to play skittles for the Loungers at The Feathers pub.

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