Bert McWade began raising money for the food bank in Pugwash, N.S two years ago.

It all began with a story about the legendary singer Johnny Cash.

Cash was touring the Maritimes back in 1958, when he was picked up by a cab in Charlottetown, driven by a friend of Bert’s. The singer got the cabbie to stop, so he could pick up some bologna for a snack.

The story always stuck with Bert and inspired him to do something special on Cash's birthday.

“So we took that with Johnny Cash on the February 26th and turned it into a Free Bologna Sandwich Day, in exchange for, hopefully, a donation to the foodbank,” says Bert.

The first event raised more than $1,500 and filled four trucks with food items. Last year’s Free Bologna Sandwich Day grew to nearly $2,700 and five truckloads of food.

“It means an infusion of cash that we really need this time of the year. After the holidays and cash is really tight, this really helps out a lot,” says Gus Gosselin, food bank volunteer.

Bert’s friends say sandwich maker is just one of the many roles he plays in the community.

“He's a busy man. He's into everything,” says Ruth McGrath. “He works at a lot of volunteer work and stuff like that and he's just a good guy.”

“He's always out helping people and he likes to be involved,” says Gus. “He's a doer, anything that needs to be done talk to Bert first.”

Bert says he is happy to help out and keeping busy keeps him young.

“The more you slow down, you're getting close to the grave. So the busier you are, the better you are. I don't believe in retirement, I believe in changing jobs,” says Bert.

Congratulations Bert McWade, our Maritimer of the Week!


If you know someone deserving of our Maritimer of the Week 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 Week

P.O. Box 1653

Halifax, N.S.

B3J 2Z4