As she was fondly remembered, Lady Violet Aitken, or Lady of the Offshores, has passed away aged 94. The most recent headline on Powerboat Racing World did not do justice to the Ladyship’s larger-than-life existence.
In the 90 years, she had lived, there’s very little she hadn’t achieved or touched. She was the daughter-in-law of Maxwell Aitken, commonly knows as Lord Beaverbrook, top benefactor of N.B university. He is also the originator and backer of Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
She married the junior Beaverbrook, Sir Max Aitken, bringing her into the N.B social circle. It led to many things, including her love for the N.B and the country in general.
Her many achievements include prominent the first female Chancellor of N.B university. She held onto the post for 10 good years. She served as a board member of the Beaverbrook Foundation. She was instrumental in pushing forward many of the foundation’s projects.
Also, she is remembered as one of the province’s foremost ambassadors, mother of Laura Levi and Maxwell Aitken, current lord of Beaverbrook, grandmother, and great grandmother.
And as stated by Powerboat Racing, she was a tough competitor. In announcing her passing, the foundation added that she had quite a zest for life. Her grand-daughter described her as being a badass. Both of these posts illustrate how difficult it is to describe someone as great as Violet in a few words because they do not capture who she was.
However, the overall consensus is that she was authentic and remarkable.
He did impact many lives, including that of Kevin Fram, a student of the Beaverbrooks. He did interact with Lady Violet several times in the 90s, which still mesmerized him to date.
Then, he was an assistant to Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc. He was organizing a flight to the U.K when Colin B. Mackay, former President of N.B university, heard about it and offered to introduce the two to meet when he reached the U.K.
He remembers how Lady Violet came for him in a tiny Volkswagen and took him out on a tour of N.B, prepare him lunch, and gave him a tour of their home. He says that whatever preconceived notion people have of the British aristocracy, he found her warm, charming, and gracious.
Others like Judy Budovitch remember her as being incandescent and naturally charming. Budovitch was Chairperson of the Beaverbrook Art gallery between 1900 and 2000, during which Aitken was the custodian. She says Lady violet elevated every event by just attending.