TRURO - Stu Rath was all smiles as the civic centre's new name was revealed on Tuesday morning.
The facility, which until yesterday was referred to as the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre, has been officially named the Rath EastLink Community Centre. The name honours two businessmen – Truro's Stu Rath and John Bragg of Collingwood, Cumberland County – because of their financial donations to the centre.
"I'm pleased to play a small part in this and see it bear my name," said Rath, 69, who wouldn't reveal how much he donated to the project.
The announcement was made during a conference yesterday morning at the Marigold Cultural Centre. About 40 people attended.
Rath said his love of sports and community were his incentives to contribute.
"I was involved in hockey since I was a kid and I love sports. I also want to do things for the community and it affects the next generation," Rath said.
Rath's interests include various sports and he is the father of two grown children.
Bragg, founder of EastLink Television and president and co-CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods Limited, chose to donate to the cause thanks to his admiration of Rath. He too wouldn't reveal how much his donation was.
"I wanted to share in Stu's vision," said Bragg, 72, adding he and Rath were partners in EastLink Television in the mid 1980s for about 10 years.
"Also, I'm a firm believer that it's absolutely critical we have good infrastructure ... it's critical for the welfare of the town," said Bragg, adding being "recognized as a donor (shows) we want to encourage philanthropy for others."
Bragg is married to wife Judy and has four adult children. His interests include golfing, biking and reading.
Jon Stanfield, chairman of the Ignite the Spirit campaign, which has been a main fundraising initiative for the centre, said naming the facility after major contributors is appropriate.
The opening of the almost $50-million centre on Abenaki Road in 2013, after numerous delays, will be a welcome moment, said Stanfield. An opening date will be announced in the near future.
"It will attract people and jobs and it will (help us) compete with other communities," Stanfield said at the conference.
The following is a look at a few of the dates that were significant during the civic centre's timeline:
2006 - Truro applied to host the 2011 Canada Winter Games. From that loss to Halifax came a $10-million commitment from the provincial government towards this area's own civic centre. That figure was matched by the federal government.
Summer 2009 - Project campaign planning began
September 2010 - Construction of the centre begin
March 2011 - Ignite the Spirit fundraising campaign was launched
December 2011 - $4-million mark of a $5-million fundraising goal was reached
October 2012 - Naming of the centre