Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hundreds of Mourners Pay Their Respects to Halifax Philanthropist Ruth Goldbloom

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Hundreds of Mourners Pay Their Respects to Halifax Philanthropist Ruth Goldbloom

Article excerpt

Halifax activist's generosity remembered

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HALIFAX - Hundreds of people attended a funeral on the Halifax waterfront Friday for the woman credited as the driving force behind the establishment of Canada's national immigration museum.

Ruth Goldbloom died Wednesday of cancer at the age of 88.

Born Ruth Schwartz in New Waterford, N.S., Goldbloom was a committed community leader and philanthropist who was known for her tireless work on behalf of several organizations.

But it's her work to establish Pier 21 as a national immigration museum that will likely be her lasting legacy.

It was a passion that was recognized during the funeral conducted just a short walk away from the former immigration shed that she helped transform.

"Pier 21 was Ruth's fourth child, eighth grandchild -- second husband?" Rabbi Ari Eisenberg said to light laughter.

"Pier 21 is the house that Ruth built. How fitting it is that we are here on the pier in plain view of the museum she worked tirelessly to develop."

As part of the eulogy by Goldbloom's three children, her son Alan said the museum project spoke to his mother's pride in her own immigrant roots, with her family settling in Cape Breton after fleeing Russia.

"She took pride in and never forget her own family's beginnings and she didn't want other Canadians to forget theirs, reminding people over and over again that we are all immigrants," he said.

Goldbloom spearheaded the lobbying effort to turn what was a derelict property on the Halifax waterfront into a lasting tribute to the one million immigrants who passed through its doors between 1928 and 1971.

She succeeded in co-founding the Pier 21 Society in 1990 and her efforts paid off in 2010 when Pier 21 was recognized as a museum by the federal government. Goldbloom was named the museum's director.

Among the mourners attending her funeral at the Cunard Centre were federal Liberal Leader Bob Rae, former Nova Scotia premier Gerald Regan, Nova Scotia Lt. …

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