Westport Lions New Member has a Long History of Giving to his Community

New Lion member, Bruce Paterson and with Anna overlooking the Mississippi River at Bellevue, Iowa.

Westport Lions Roar

By

Lion Barry Winfield

Bruce and Anna Paterson moved to their new home on County Road 10 on 2 May 2022. Coming from a lifelong background of service within the communities they lived in, Bruce checked for area Rotary clubs. Bruce had held several positions in the Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary Club leadership team, culminating as their President in 2019. With the closest Rotary club being Gananoque, Bruce immediately started familiarizing himself with our Westport Lions. Within a few meetings, Bruce became a new member on November 30th, with Lions Barb Fritz and George Jones as his sponsors.

Bruce was born in Scarborough, Ontario, where Bruce’s Dad was a mechanic with Otis Elevators. His Dad participated in such demanding challenges as installing the elevators in the first two Toronto-Dominion Towers, and remained with Otis until his retirement. Bruce’s Mom filled the role of stay-at-home mother for Bruce and his three sisters. In 1956, the Paterson family moved into the Scarborough home in which his mother still resides at the age of 91.  

Early in life, Bruce enjoyed cross-country skiing and canoeing. In addition, he and Anna had been avid motorcyclists, riding a Kawasaki 450, “until high-chairs intervened.” In 1980, Bruce and Anna moved to Tottenham, and later to Ravenna, just west of Collingwood. Anna’s family and relatives had had area farms in Ravenna since the 1860s, so this was a welcome homecoming. They decided this was where they would put down their roots. Bruce and Anna’s building contractors completed the outside tasks on their Ravenna home in just three months. They moved into their shell of a house on Christmas Eve, with their children, Matt and Sarah, ages four and two. How long did it take them to complete their dream-home? “About twenty years!” said Bruce. He and Anna completed all the inside jobs – electrical, plumbing and carpentry. This turned out to be a prequel to his present Westport business, Paterson’s Home Services, the scope of which Bruce describes as “anything one man can lift, move or complete on his own.”

From Tottenham and Ravenna, Bruce commuted, 2-3 hours round trip, to work in the Toronto area, with an auto manufacturer, Litton Systems, and Heiden-Hain, which produced digital rotary motors and digital scales. Through this wide-ranging work and one day a week at Humber College, Bruce gained his papers as a professional millwright.

Somehow, Bruce was able to shoehorn in a most impressive array of community service in the Ravenna-Tottenham-Thornbury area. 

– He belonged to the Owen Sound chapter of Veteran Freedom Riders, who raise funds for veterans in need. 

– Among its many other programs, Bruce’s Rotary Club supported the “Shelter Box” initiative. Each box held over $1,000 of essential equipment – such as tents and sleeping bags, bedding, tools and clothing. The Shelter Boxes are stored in four warehouses around the world. 

– The Beaver Valley Outreach was another Paterson family commitment that provided such support as a drop-in centre, clothing, toys, etc., mainly for young people. 

– For many years, Bruce and Anna have been hosting international students in their home, three months at a time. These students complete a full year abroad with an additional three families. The Patersons have enjoyed nine of these students from, for example, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Chile.

Two telling comments reveal much about Bruce’s character. When asked what has been a profound influence in his development, Bruce credits “the scouting movement, from Cubs to Rovers.” 

Secondly, Bruce reveals that “having a family led me into youth sports.” He became part of Ravenna’s coaching teams for Matt’s hockey and Sarah’s soccer and rugby. 

Bruce did not take long to start his Westport Lions’ community contributions. There he was, as part of the Christmas parade team, a huge smile on his face, only three days after his Club induction. Welcome to the Westport Lions, Bruce. 


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