(Editor's note: Brian Bradley, Branch Manager of RBC in Lethbridge on Mayor Magrath Drive, will be presenting the Oldman Watershed Council with a whopping cheque of nearly $58,000 as part of their Blue Water Project on Thursday at 11 am. It would mean a lot to see you there to show support for all the incredible people who are working hard to ensure clear, clean drinking water and healthy ecosystems at both RBC and OWC. Brian has got a great watershed story that begins way down in the south part of the prairies ... I'll let him continue with the story ...)
Well, I was born in south Saskatchewan, south of Moose Jaw - in fact, in a very dry part of the world. I grew up on a dry land farm with one horse! We grew "heavy oats" to sell to American racehorse suppliers. We relied on the spring runoff to fill our two dugouts and ran pipes from a slough to manage our water needs. Drinking water, though, was hauled in from a community well 10 miles away in Assiniboia – straight south of Moose Jaw and about 45 miles north of the Montana border.
I remember particularly the spring of '88. It didn't rain at all and we ended up just plowing the crop under. We ran an air conditioning business, though – and that summer was a busy one with people buying up units to try and escape the heat.
We had a reservoir about 30 miles away that we used for boating and fishing. Knee-boarding was all the rage when I was a kid. That hot summer I would have been about 15 and we had a lot of fun out there. Just outside of town, about 8 miles away from us, there was the Assiniboia reservoir – so it was closer but we could only use it for fishing because only electric motors were allowed on it.
I ended up going to college in Lethbridge where I learned Business Administration and Heavy Duty Mechanics. My dream was to farm here, so I rented land and started to grow oats following the family tradition. My wife, Bobbi, was working at RBC and when this remarkable opportunity came up with them, we made an important choice and I began my career with them.
I'm excited to be able to present the Oldman Watershed Council with this cheque of $57,880 from RBC's Blue Water program. RBC has pledged over $50 million to protect water over a ten-year period. Water is an absolutely crucial focus for our philanthropy and we couldn't be more pleased to see this money go toward the OWC's activities. We can see that the OWC's work aligns exactly with what RBC is attempting to do with the Blue Water program. The program was launched in 2007 and RBC has pledged over $38 million to more than 650 charitable organizations worldwide to help protect our water. In our seventh year of this project, RBC Blue Water is tackling the critical issue of urban watershed. This is something I know hits home to all of us, and resonates with our families, friends and neighbors.
Our branch here on Mayor Magrath Drive is also participating in the coulee clean-upon June 10th starting out from the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. We really try to incorporate water awareness in our everyday work, too. We have stopped using plastic bottles in the branch, for example!
I am excited about teaching my 6-year old son, Austin, more about where our water comes from, where it goes … and how he can become a strong water steward for the future. Like every youngster, he loves to get out under the sprinklers, swim and fish. Waterton Park has to be about his favorite place in the watershed. I hope that RBC's contribution to the OWC can help us raise awareness and ensure clean, plentiful water for drinking, working and playing for generations to come.
I hope to meet you and say hello this coming Thursday, June 12th, at the branch
when we officially hand over the cheque to OWC.
It would be great to see you there!
Brian Bradley | Branch Manager, RBC Royal Bank | Royal Bank of Canada
T. 403-382-3950 | F. 403-380-3699 | 1139 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, AB T1K 2P9