Nation Builders

In 2005, the Pier 21 Foundation launched the Nation Builders Campaign, an endowment to fund the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Under the leadership of Ruth Goldbloom, the Nation Builders Campaign accomplished its $7 million goal to establish this endowment fund. One million dollars was donated by, or in recognition of, each of the seven Nation Builders who have a connection to or an affinity for Pier 21. These extraordinary gifts will ensure that the stories of those who passed through Pier 21, and those who choose Canada as their home, will be remembered for generations to come.

Our Nation Builders symbolize what it means to be Canadian. The struggles, hard work, determination, sacrifice and vision of our Nation Builders exemplify Canada’s spirit.

Rudolph P. Bratty, B.A., LL.B., Q.C.

The son of a carpenter who came from Friuli, Italy in 1922, he was born in Canada and brought up in a tradition of deep responsibility to his community. He became one of Toronto’s most successful real estate developers, head of his family’s development company, Remington Group, and a partner in the law firm of Bratty & Partners. His business accomplishments are paralleled by his deep commitment to many charities, notably Italian-Canadian organizations. A major financial supporter of Pier 21, he was a member of the original National Advisory Council. Rudy Bratty embodies the Canadian spirit of generosity.

Recognized by the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation

Leslie L. Dan, C.M., O.ONT.

Born in Hungary, he survived the Nazi era, and in 1947, with ten dollars in his pocket, he came to Canada. Jobs as a waiter and a lumberjack saw him through high school and university. He invested $500 in a small pharmaceutical company that evolved into Novopharm Ltd., supplier of quality, affordable, generic medications, so vital to people in less affluent parts of the world. In the field of biotechnology, the firm develops products for cancers. Leslie Dan has never forgotten the opportunities Canada offered and has repaid his indebtedness many times over.

Recognized by the Dan Family Foundation

Ruth M. Goldbloom,O.C., O.N.S.

Ruth was one of six children born to Rose Schwartz, a Russian immigrant to Cape Breton who was widowed at a young age. Inspired by her mother’s work ethic and dedication to community, Ruth became a lifelong volunteer fundraiser. Ruth has raised millions in support of health, education, and cultural institutions. She stimulated $9 million in donations to the original restoration of Pier 21, and spearheaded the $7 million Nation Builders campaign to provide ongoing resources to Pier 21 in perpetuity, maintaining its place in the hearts of all Canadians. Ruth embodies the spirit of “giving back” to Canada.

Recognized by John and Judy Bragg, Gay and John Evans, The Homburg Charitable Foundation, Margaret and Wallace McCain, Tim and Bernardine Moore, Jim M. Spatz, family and many friends

Belle Iris MacDonald

Daughter of a lobster fisherman, she was born into poverty on a remote island off Newfoundland. She passed Grade 12 by correspondence and became a registered nurse. Upon immigrating to Canada in 1945 she took charge of the Neonatal Unit at the Halifax Infirmary, restoring life and health to thousands of premature infants, at the same time raising her own seven children, teaching them her values of hard work, honesty and love of family. The continued generosity of her successful children has benefited the lives of countless fellow citizens, especially the less fortunate. Belle MacDonald made Canada a better place.

With thanks the MacDonald Family

John W. McConnell

Born in 1877 to poor Irish immigrants, he began work as a delivery boy at age 14. He later launched his own business ventures, gaining major interests in the Montreal Street Railway and St. Lawrence Sugar Refineries, and later became owner and publisher of the Montreal Star. As his means grew, so did his dedication to philanthropy, culminating in the establishment of the J.W. McConnell Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians. By nature quiet and modest, John W. McConnell was a luminous figure in the building of Canada.

Recognized by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

W. Galen Weston, O.C.

Born 1940, the youngest of nine children, he came to Canada from England at age four. Though from a prominent family, in his early twenties he struck out on his own and built a chain of grocery and department stores in Ireland. At 31, he returned to Canada to lead his family’s North American businesses and is credited with a “textbook turnaround” of their operations. With holdings in supermarkets, bakeries and merchandising, he is also president of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all Canadians. W. Galen Weston is a builder of Canada.

With thanks to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation
George Weston Limited

The Immigrant

I am young and old, rich and poor, free and enslaved, fleeing and seeking. I came from every part of the world, with family and alone, with nothing and everything. Two stories complete me – the story I came from and the story I started when I landed in Canada. These merge in the next generation into gratitude to a country which has made it possible for my children to have only one story – the Canadian story. Pier 21 stands as an important marker of our past, and as a place to celebrate the continued contributions of newcomers to Canada.

With thanks to the generous donors to the Pier 21 Endowment Fund

Nation Builder Plaza

With gratitude to those who made the construction of Nation Builder Plaza possible:

Halifax Port Authority

Power Corporation of Canada

And with thanks to the leadership donors to the Pier 21 Endowment Fund:

Alfredo, Angelo and Antonio DeGasperis

Marjorie and Sheldon Fountain, Elizabeth and Fred Fountain and Eileen Richardson

Emera – Nova Scotia Power