In the sporting world Jack Diamond is predominantly known for his endeavors in horse racing but many know him as the man who practically invented fundraising in Vancouver. The race track became an ideal arena to raise charity funds. When he spear-headed the Special Events Committee for the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, of the $250,000 raised, $130,000 of that came from horse racing. Known as the BEG “Sparkplug” for his fundraising efforts that ensured the Games would finish with a budget surplus, Diamond also helped speed completion of Empire Stadium in time for the Games.

Diamond began his racing stables in the mid-1930s. His leadership contributed much to the improvement of breeding in BC. In 1965, behind Diamond’s guidance, the Jockey Club completed a new grandstand-clubhouse complex at Exhibition Park.

Diamond lived to help people. As campaign vice-chairman he helped raise $1 million to build Swangard Stadium, an amateur sports stadium in Burnaby’s Central Park. While chancellor at SFU from 1975-78, he was instrumental in securing hard-to-find funds for the school’s athletic program, often from his own pocket. A major force behind fundraising campaigns to send BC athletes to national and international competition, Diamond assisted teams and individuals with personal donations.

The extent of Diamond’s backing of BC sports activities was exceeded only by the range of his support for other civic and charitable causes and campaigns. Recipient of the Order of Canada in 1982, he is a member of both the Canadian and BC Horse Racing Halls of Fame.