Farewell, Dr Gibson

This week many in Nova Scotia are remembering Dr M Allen Gibson and the ways he touched their lives.
For us at Bonny Lea Farm, we are recalling the contributions of one of our founding members. Back in 1973, Dr M Allen Gibson was one of the people who saw the need for people with disabilities to be given the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.

Together with the Bakers and a small group of like-minded people, Dr Gibson was instrumental in getting Bonny Lea Farm up and running. His commitment to community and addressing the situation of those he recognized as needing support made him a formidable force in making the dream of Bonny Lea Farm a reality – personal dignity & worth through productive living.

As the inaugural chair of the Board for the South Shore Community Service Association, a position he held for decades, one of his early accomplishments was arranging for the purchase of the property where Bonny Lea Farm is located.

“He was tireless, self-less, a real blessing to this organization and this community. He always had time for people and would not give up,” recalled Bonita Church, Bonny Lea Farm staff and whose family sold their farm for the creation of Bonny Lea Farm.

Indeed, he was always ready to be champion for Bonny Lea Farm and the people we serve. Often the public face of Bonny Lea Farm, an eloquent and convincing speaker, he frequently advocated on Bonny Lea Farm’s behalf, facilitating and coordinating efforts with government and other parties.

“He was like a conductor of an orchestra, able to bring everyone together to reach consensus, agreement and harmony,” commented Managing Director, David Outhouse.

To mark his many contributions to the organization, Bonny Lea Farm named a residence after him in 2000. Knowing well Dr Gibson’s sense of humour, Rev. Dan Green enjoys sharing that as they walked back to the reception site passing the greenhouse along the way, he turned to Dr Gibson and said, You know, you just had a home named for you after all these years, but I’ve had a building here named for me much longer, the “Green House. At which Dr Gibson, with a twinkle in his eye, had a good chuckle.

Allen was always a source of wisdom and humour. I can’t say enough about the kind of person he was and what he meant to me. I will miss him,” said Joe Stackhouse, founding member.

Dr Gibson, “may the Lord watch over me and thee while we are absent one from the other.”