As a teacher and volunteer extraordinaire, Bruce was unwavering in his commitment to those young men and women whose lives were constant struggles to integrate into society. He made a difference in the lives of those whom he taught “beyond the curriculum”.
Bruce Kelly taught in the public school system for over twenty-five years, in challenging and demanding classroom environments. In effect, Bruce taught kids who had dropped out of the public education mainstream and for whom his classes were a last chance, so to speak. He taught basic curricular courses in the morning and devoted his afternoons to sharing with his students, his skills in carpentry and furniture refinishing. The link he established with them and the trust they put in him, went beyond the classroom. For many, Bruce was their only resource and their only go-to person. On more than one occasion, Bruce used his own money to bail a student out of jail.
Now retired, Bruce and his wife Brenda have, over the last eight years, volunteered for the “Fondation d'Entraide en Santé des Bénévoles de Ste-Anne”. The Foundation runs the Thrift Shops for NOVA (formerly the Victorian Order of Nurses), raises money exclusively for Nova nurses and is by far, their major funder.
Bruce has acted as collector, dispatcher and distributor for the Foundation. He is actively involved three to four days a week in organizing, overseeing and actively participating in the pickup and delivery of donated furniture and clothing that constitute the main source of income for the Foundation. So vital is his presence to the operation that he rarely takes more than one week’s vacation at a time.
For his sustained dedication to, and support of those in need, for the quiet and modest manner in which he has carried this out over the last forty years, for his living testament to being a “Man for Others”, the Selection Committee recommended that Bruce Kelly be inducted in the Loyola High School Hall of Merit.