Stuart (Stu) Rath
Community Service Award
2015 -16
Stuart (Stu) Rath is considered to be one of the most successful business people and community supporters in Colchester County.
Stu Rath grew up on a dairy farm in Camden. He attended a one-room schoolhouse in the rural community until Grade 10 when he attended the former Colchester High School when it opened in Onslow in 1957. Rath was not sure what he would do after high school, but knew he didn't want to be a farmer.
In the summer after graduation (1960) he started working at the Bank of Montreal in Truro. That started a 16-year climb up the bank's ranks that included 10 moves. His last stop was in the credit department in the regional office in Halifax. While working for the bank, Stu knew he wanted to get into business. It was during this time he became knowledgeable about the cable industry and subsequently bought and grew Eastern Cablevision. In 1985, Rath and Oxford's John Bragg purchased Halifax Cablevision, which Rath ran until selling his part of the company, which is now ‘EastLink’, to Bragg in 1995.
He's been involved in a water and airport service businesses, a wholesale and office supply company, an ice company as well as an investor in a number of commercial and residential properties around Truro and elsewhere in Nova Scotia. Stu Rath has said one of his best investments was his involvement in ‘Somebeachsomewhere’, widely considered the "best pacer of all time." The horse won all but one of his 21 races during a two-year career, compiling $3.2 million in purse earnings.
His community involvement is extensive. He has been a member of the Truro and Area Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Industrial Commission, on the Board of CoRDA, member of the Colchester Park Development Commission, member of the Colchester Regional Hospital Foundation, member of the fund raising committee for the new Regional Hospital, member of the NSBI Board of Directors since 2007, on the Board of Governors –Maritime Junior Hockey League and presently the new Chairman of the Provincial Exhibition Park in Bible Hill.
Stu Rath has owned and operated the Truro TSN Bearcats (1988-1998) which won the 1998 Allan Cup. He has owned and operated the Truro Jr. A Bearcats since 1997 and has developed many young players providing them with leadership skills and assistance with education. These teams have been invaluable to our community.
He's involved with First Angel Network, a Halifax not-for-profit group that gets together quarterly to hear from entrepreneurs looking for investors that sounds similar to the CBC-TV program Dragons Den.
Stu Rath has actively supported the Development of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC), with he and John Bragg providing a substantial donation to the project, and having it jointly named for them. He has supported the Rotary House campaign, Palliative Care wing in the Colchester East Hants Health Centre, sponsored numerous athletic teams and Dalhousie University Bearcat scholarships. He has also been a supporter of the Rotary Club’s annual Bollywood Diner and Dances.
His awards include: Truro Chamber of Commerce - Business Man of the Year in 1997, Honorary Membership in Kiwanis Club in 2001, Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Truro in 2002, United Way Outstanding Leadership award in 2007 and Truro Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement award in 2011.
As a mentor, Stu Rath has assisted numerous business people and entrepreneurs in the community and is looked upon as a ‘leader’ in the community. Leo Rovers has known Stu for more than 25 years. They have been business partners on various projects. "He's a very smart man, but also a public-minded as well. He does a lot of things for people that most of us don't know about," he said in an interview a few years ago.
On February 18, 2016 the Rotary Club of Truro was pleased to honor Stu Rath with the 2016 Community Service Award.