Amidst a crowd of close to 100 well-wishers at Pier 21 in Halifax, Ruth Goldbloom was standing tall.
It was impossible to miss the 86-year-old’s beaming grin yesterday as she accepted her Nation Builder plaque during a noontime ceremony at the newly created Nation Builder Plaza at Pier 21.
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It was under the leadership of Goldbloom that Pier 21’s endowment fund, established in 2005, accomplished its goal of raising $7 million for Canada’s Immigration Museum. A total of $1 million were donated by or in recognition of Goldbloom and the six other Nation Builders who were honoured yesterday for what is described as their strong connection or affinity to Canada, and Pier 21.
“She is extraordinary - she is such a force,” said Cailin MacDonald, communications manager for Pier 21. “She can make anything happen.”
Goldbloom is the daughter of Rose Schwartz, a Russian immigrant who settled in Cape Breton. Her mother was widowed at an early age and had a strong work ethic, which is said to have carried over to Ruth
During her lifetime, Goldbloom has raised millions of dollars in support of health, education and cultural institutions around the province.
“Well, I don’t consider myself a Nation Builder,” Goldbloom said. “I think that I’m the one that says thank you. Thank you for the honour of being involved in Pier 21. To me it is amazing that we are going to become the national museum of immigration for all of Canada. I cannot even think of how important that is going to be for our city, to Nova Scotia. Most importantly we can finally pay tribute to the immigrants who made our country.”
To help mark the occasion, Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin swore in 53 new Canadians from 25 different countries at a Pier 21 ceremony. It is believed to be the first time a chief justice of Canada has presided over a citizenship ceremony in Nova Scotia.