About the Rina M Bidin Foundation

Who we are.

The story behind the foundation

Rina Maria Bidin was born in Deroche, BC in 1914 to Italian immigrants. She spent her childhood in Woodfibre, B.C., a mill town on Howe Sound only accessible at that time by steam boat. Her parents, Joseph and Lucia Bidin had seven children – Lucio, Victor, Leno (Leno was to perish in a boating accident in Howe Sound at the age of 10) then Rina, Mary, twins Alma and Elda (Elda, at less than a year old was to perish within weeks of Leno’s drowning). Rina went to school in Woodfibre until Grade 7. There were no educational opportunities past Grade 7 in Woodfibre. Her father believed strongly in education and so she was sent to live with cousins in Vancouver to complete Grades 8 to 12. Through various circumstances of the time, Rina was not able to continue living with her cousins. She was to meet - and with her parent’s permission - eventually board with Frank and Gina Federici who became Uncle Frank and Auntie Gina. She attended Britannia School on Napier Street.

Early on, Rina was the receptionist and bookkeeper for Uncle Frank’s Hotel Vancouver barbershop and various other of his business enterprises. He eventually turned the management of the barbershop over to Rina. It was through the barbershop that Rina met many of the city and province’s influential business people. These introductions eventually lead to her first real estate purchase. She was a pioneer in the field and was forever afterwards driven by a passion for acquiring, managing and selling real estate.

In 1954 a Toronto Star journalist investigating BC’s “crazy” new Social Credit government was getting a haircut at the barbershop. He crossed swords with Rina, who vigorously defended ‘Wacky’ Bennett. Beland Honderich, later, the publisher of the Toronto Star, persuaded her to continue their discussion over dinner. More than 40 years after this encounter, both widowed, they met again in Toronto. Eventually they married in Hawaii and Beland moved to Vancouver. They spent six happy years together until his death in 2005. During their years together they shared a passion for philanthropy and common beliefs in the wellness of children and youth. Rina passed away April 16, 2011 at the age of 96.

Rina established the Rina M. Bidin Foundation in 1988. She enjoyed participating in fundraising and the promotion of many causes amongst her network of friends and family. She left proceeds from her estate for the Bidin Honderich Orphan Childrens’ Fund. The Rina M. Bidin Foundation holds these funds in trust for distribution to causes that promote the values and beliefs Rina held throughout her life.

  • Nina Lyons Executive Director
  • Martina Lynch Director
Meet the executive team of the Rina M Bidin Foundation