The Northside community pool has been a fixture in Sydney Mines, N.S. since the late 1970s.

Our Maritimer of the Month has been one of the driving forces behind the pool, volunteering since the beginning.

If you find yourself at the Northside Community Pool, chances are Ruth Gardiner will be the first face you see.

“Her big, warm welcome smile and friendliness to everybody, she just makes you feel like you're home,” says Peggy Ross, pool employee.

The pool has become a home of sorts for Ruth.

“I came here as a 34-year-old mom of four children and learned how to swim,” recalls Ruth. “After I learned how to swim I thought ‘wow, I could probably do other things.”

And that's exactly what she did.

“She's sat on the board, she coached swim teams, she's been fundraising, selling tickets and anything and everything to do with keeping this building afloat and keeping the programs going,” says Charlie MacLean, pool volunteer.

At 73 years old, Ruth remains as dedicated as ever, swimming every day and continuing to volunteer.

“It's my life, it's been my life for 39 years. I'm going to get very emotional here. I love it,” says Ruth.

It turns out that love is mutual.

Congratulations to Ruth Gardiner, our Maritimer of the Month.


If you know someone deserving of our Maritimer of the Month award, we want to hear about it.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, the nature of the good deed they’ve done, or what part of the region they live in — we want your ideas!

Please send your nomination to:


Maritimer of the Month

P.O. Box 1653

Halifax, N.S.

B3J 2Z4