Maritimer of the Month: 'Mayor of Bateson, N.S.,' receives his due
In the seaside community of Bateston, N.S., the Bates families have left their mark for over 200 years, especially Pat Bates.
"It's all community, eh. That's what she's all about," said Bates, the lifelong resident.
Bates will be turning 80-years-old this month and throughout his life, he’s built a reputation in the community as someone who gets things done.
He's an outgoing guy who is often shaking hands and kissing babies.
"He is the forever Mayor of Bateston," said Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Amanda McDougall.
McDougall grew up down the road in Main-A-Dieu, N.S., She says when she's home, she has no problem deferring to Bates’s leadership.
"He's the guy," McDougall said. "He makes sure our community is happy and safe and as I said, makes sure everybody has a good time while doing it."
After a devasting fire occurred in the community 45-years-ago, Bates founded the Bateson Volunteer Fire Department, and remains a serving member.
"In June of 1976, there was a fire that started in Bateston and went through the communities of Bateston and Main-A-Dieu. Burnt several homes, burnt the church," said Kelly Bates, the fire chief, who isn’t directly related to Pat Bates. "And he's still there today. At the meetings, he'll brag about how many members we have. We have 29 active members."
Bates has been treasurer at the Bateston Athletics and Seniors Club for 53 years. In fact, he helped spearhead the building’s construction.
"It started in the basement of my house, me and my wife," Bates said. "We had four little kids, but that's how it got here. And everybody would be cutting logs, and we got this beautiful building here."
Recently, Bates walked the streets and picked up litter because the Nova Scotia’s Lieutenant-Governor was coming to town.
"Well, I wanted the community to look good for the visitors," he explained. "I was there eight in the morning with the garbage bag."
What did Bates think about Mayor McDougall referring to him as 'the mayor'?
"The real mayor is in Sydney. She's got all the problems," he said.
Bates is not only a community favourite, but also the CTV Atlantic's Maritimer of the Month.