On January 24, PWS&D and Presbyterians Sharing received an incredibly generous gift from the estate of Marion and Bruce Berry of Thornhill, Ontario. Executors Brian Slater, Marilyn Bailey and the Rev. Linda Patton Cowie presented two cheques totaling $850,000, equally divided between PWS&D and Presbyterians Sharing. Two other charitable organizations also benefitted from the Berrys’ tremendous generosity.
The Berrys were married for over 70 years. Marion died in June at the age of 94, predeceased a year earlier by Bruce.
Faithful and longtime members of Thornhill Presbyterian Church, Marion and Bruce had a strong connection to the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Bruce was a shop teacher and technical director at Earl Haig Secondary School. He loved carpentry and ballroom dancing, and he curled up until his 90th birthday! Marion was a church organist and homemaker. She generously shared her musical talents and encouraged young people to play music at church services. Both Marion and Bruce loved to play bridge, and they were formidable opponents!
Marion and Bruce were practical people who wanted their money to go to charities where it would be used well to help others. They didn’t want to receive a lot of attention for their gifts, but instead wanted to show others that with planning and foresight, the fruits of their lives and labour can make a big difference. The Berrys’ gift to The Presbyterian Church in Canada will have a lasting impact, in Canada and throughout the world.
Linda described Bruce as a builder, and Marion as an encourager – and their gifts will be used to both build and encourage through the mission and ministry of The Presbyterian Church in Canada for years to come.