Bernard Malcolm Patterson

Bernard Malcolm Patterson probably considered himself just an ordinary man. However, those who knew him describe him as "a pillar of society" who supported his community while alive, and also took a simple step to ensure his kindness continued long after he was gone.

A native of Tusket, in Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth County, Mr. Patterson served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1943-46. Later, he graduated from New York’s Academy of Advanced Traffic and worked as a passenger traffic manager for American Home Products Corp. in New York. After his father, Sheldon, passed away, he returned to Tusket to support his mother, Alta.

A friend of 30 years, Malcolm Bradshaw, fondly remembers Mr. Patterson’s life-long interest in trains, no doubt influenced by the fact his father was Tusket’s station master.

An avid reader who enjoyed exercising, Mr. Patterson’s humble lifestyle included regular support to charitable causes. He showed by example how even modest support, applied steadily over a period of time, has a tremendous impact.

In his Will, he bequeathed a Gift of Stock to the Canadian Red Cross and seven other charitable organizations." One of the advantages of planned giving is that an individual can support as many charities as they wish," explains Toni Croft, Planned Giving Officer with the Canadian Red Cross.

"We in turn thank and pay tribute to Mr. Patterson’s generosity by ensuring his gift helps vulnerable people in his community and province every day." That may involve assisting people affected by disasters, providing free loans of health equipment, or reaching youth with violence and abuse prevention programs. Through these services and others such as First Aid or swimming and water safety programs, the Red Cross helps improve the lives of more than 300,000 people in Atlantic Canada every year.