The province and community that he loved…the province and community that loved him.
I was honoured to represent the Province of Nova Scotia at the Farewell Service for Purdy Crawford, held in Five Islands on October 4th. Much has been spoken and written about the man, both before and since his death on August 12th. Many of you have shown interest in his life and accomplishments. For other readers, I hope the highlights and insights written here will be appreciated.
Purdy was an accomplished scholar, successful businessman, respected corporate lawyer, mentor, to both men and women, and a philanthropist whose generosity has been of benefit to many. He was a Member and Chair of many Boards, Professor and Lecturer at various Schools of Law, Governor and Chancellor of several universities and an Inductee into both the Nova Scotia and Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
The Farewell Service in Five Islands, however, brought Purdy full circle, from his humble beginnings in that community, through his stellar career in Canadian law and business, back to the community and province of which he was so proud.
From the Nova Scotia tartan sashes and ties worn by his daughters and son, to the graphics in the Program of Service, to the traditional Nova Scotia music, there was no one who would question the demonstration of love and pride in this province.
Panoramic photos of the Five Islands – in fact – 3 photos – one at full tide, one at half tide, and one at ebb tide graced the pages of the Funeral Bulletin. Splashes of Nova Scotia tartan, the flag of Nova Scotia on each page and the sky-blue background left no question how important this place was to him. A solo: Rise Again, sung by his daughter, and fiddler interlude: Rosebud of Allenvale reinforced that importance.
And just prior to the Commendation, Blessing and Recessional, the entire congregation stood proudly and joined in the singing of the ever popular, and truly Nova Scotian Farewell to Nova Scotia. It was such a fitting conclusion to a celebration of Purdy’s life. His life should be an inspiration to all of us. It should remind us that coming from humble beginnings, a small community, and small schools in Five Islands and Bass River provided a great foundation for Purdy. But as Purdy himself said “business skills, degrees and pedigrees are less important than talent, drive and accountability”.