Robert Murray

(Class of ’52)
Alumni Volunteer of the Year

He may be retired, but Robert (Bob) Murray, doesn’t have to wonder what to do in his spare time.  Bob has spent his working career and retirement dedicated to making a difference for those around him.

Bob spends his days as a member of the St. James Presbyterian Church where he is involved with the Men’s Club, Board of Managers and is a Church Elder. He also volunteers his time as a member with the Postal History Society of Nova Scotia, Postal History Society of Canada, Bible Fellowship Group, Colchester Historical Society and the Truro Philatelic Society where he is secretary, bulletin editor and past president. 

Bob juggles all of this volunteer involvement while still sticking close to his former career.  After retiring as a berry crop specialist, Bob established Murray Consulting Services. He continues to provide advice to growers on a limited part-time basis. Bob’s also busy leaving his mark as author and co-author of a number of books including Nova Scotia Cranberry History & Development and Tangled Vine: Wine Growing in Nova Scotia.

A lifestyle in agriculture was inevitable for Bob, who was born and raised on his family’s dairy farm in Scotsbourn, Pictou County. Graduating from NSAC in 1952, Bob went on to further his education at McGill. His career with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture & Marketing began immediately upon finishing at McGill in 1954. It lasted 40 years. 

As a berry crops specialist, Bob was the primary contact for many berry crop producers in the province. He took a very practical approach to his work and helped many growers achieve their goals through a conservative, well thought out process. 

Throughout his career, Bob also spent time as a lecturer at NSAC. He enjoyed passing on his berry crop knowledge to students, who later became successful producers or extension workers.

On top of receiving a long service award for his dedication to the Province of Nova Scotia, Bob has also received many other honours including the Recognition Award from the Nova Scotia Strawberry Growers Association, Distinguished Agrologist Award, Honorary Member: Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia, NSIA Distinguished Life Membership Award and Honourary Member NSFA Senate Club. Jost Vineyards felt Bob’s leadership to the Nova Scotia grape and wine sectors were so momentous they named their 1992 Seyval Blanc wine the “Robert Murray Select”.

In addition to the activities that fill Bob’s recent days, he has also left his mark with a number of other organizations.  These have included Boy Scouts, Windsor & Truro Gyro Club, North American Strawberry Growers Association, Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame, as well as with the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists and Agricultural Institute of Canada.

Amid all of Bob’s activities and achievements, enjoying cottage life outside of Windsor with his wife Pat, children, John and Nancy, and their families is second to none.

It is more than fitting that Bob Murray be named the 2009 recipient of NSAC’s Alumni Volunteer of the Year award.