Clara Bacon fund to support lifelong learning

Darrell Cole
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An occasion filled with love and memories

Clara Bacon was honoured by the Cumberland Health Care Foundation on Saturday.

Cumberland Health Care Foundation past chairman David Wood (left) and former Nova Scotia Premier Roger Bacon unveil a painting that was completed by his wife, Clara. The painting will hang in the chapel at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre. The Clara Bacon Bursary Fund was officially unveiled during a ceremony at the hospital.

AMHERST – They say behind every successful man is a successful woman.

One half of what was a pretty special team of supporters for the Cumberland Health Care Foundation was honored Saturday with the official unveiling of the Clara Bacon Bursary Fund during a ceremony at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.

“This is wonderful time that we can be together on this beautiful day to share the good news,” longtime family friend and foundation member Morris Haugg said during the ceremony. “But it’s also one in which we are reminded of the fact she is no longer with us. Her loss is still a great loss, acutely felt by many people who were so close to her.”

Haugg said the word monument kept coming to mind when he was preparing his presentation. However, instead of a granite monument or grave marker, the Clara Bacon Fund will be a monument for present and future generations to remember her.

“The Clara Bacon Fund is a testament to Clara Bacon as a special person. She may have been known and thought of primarily of a supporter of her husband in his careers, successes and accomplishments, but that’s far from being the total picture,” Haugg said. “Clara Bacon was a special person in her own right. She was smart, she was progressive, she was a hard worker, she took risks and she knew what needed to be done.

“The biggest contribution she made was one of inspiration to accomplish things.”

Haugg said she believed strongly in lifelong learning and lifelong growth toward being successful.

The Clara Bacon Fund, made possible by a donation by her husband Roger, will provide bursaries to assist staff members who are enrolling in education or skills training programs to obtain a higher level of achievement in the health-care field.

Haugg said the proceeds of this fund will assist people to enhance their ability to serve others, enhance their ability to grow and their ability to help themselves in creating a better life for themselves. He said it fills a niche that needed to be filled.

The fund is also a testament to Roger Bacon’s generosity and his foresight to create this fund in his wife’s honour. It’s also a testament to a lifelong partnership and devotion in each other.

“There will be many, many people for many, many years who will be grateful to you for what you have done,” he said. “They may ask who was this Clara Bacon? She must’ve been quite a woman. And who was this Roger Bacon? He must’ve been quite a man.”

Bacon said the day is one of love and memories. He talked about his partnership with Clara and how she kept busy knitting, crocheting, doing needlepoint and painting by numbers.

He talked about the painting that’s being placed in the hospital chapel.

“Anyone who knows Clara, knows she didn’t give up easily,” Bacon said. “She spent night after night painting that painting with the little brushes. I would come home after curling and she was show me a little square she had done. I would ask how long it’s going to take and she would say until it’s done.”

A couple of weeks before her passed, Clara had her daughter, Debbie, take her around the hospital in a wheelchair. They went to the chapel and said that’s where her painting would go.

Foundation past-chairman David Wood said the foundation has raised more than $12 million to promote local health care since it was founded in 1993 with Roger Bacon as the first chairman.

Along with providing money for hospital equipment purchases, Wood said the foundation has supported other projects including the cardio-vascular fund, the Holly Spicer Healing Garden, the bursary program for area health-care students, the clubhouse project for mental health and the cancer assistance fund.

Wood said people can contribute to the Clara Bacon Fund by dropping by the foundation office.

“The more it grows the more people it can assist,” Wood said.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Clara Bacon Bursary Fund, Cumberland Health Care Foundation, Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre

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