Ross and Margaret Pinder Memorial Fund

Each evening Ross Pinder (who passed away July 10, 2004) and his wife Margaret (who passed away December 28, 2007) set aside time for each other – a time to talk about what was important to each of them.  When he passed away, Margaret knew immediately that Ross would want to establish a fund at Saskatoon Community Foundation.

Ross was born and raised in Saskatoon by strong, entrepreneurial parents, Robert and Helen Pinder, who taught him to see life as an adventure while being mindful to make the world a better place.

With Ross, adventures were always close at hand.  An exceptional athlete in his youth.  Ross especially enjoyed hockey and football.  Sports continued to be his passions as he grew up, and he later added golf and hunting to the list.  Prior to World War II, Ross graduated from the University of Saskatchewan as a pharmacist.

From 1939 to 1945 Ross served with the Royal Canadian Medical Corps overseas, where he met and married his first wife Patricia.  Upon his return home, he and his brother Herb took over management of Pinder’s Drug Store, which was to become a major chain of pharmacies in Saskatchewan and Calgary.

Unfortunately, not all of Ross’s adventures were pleasurable.  In 1956, Ross was the sole survivor of a car crash that claimed Patricia and their four young children.

Yet Ross rebuilt his life.  Keeping busy with his profession and community service, he met a young nurse, Margaret Hall, at a  Riverside Golf and Country Club event.  Margaret herself had just been widowed and left with three small children.  “It was love at first sight.  It was still much too early for the two of us, but we strengthened each other.  We had both experienced enough suffering,” Margaret remembers.

The couple went on to raise six children while also making time for their community.  In 1980, Ross was asked to join the Board of Directors of Saskatoon Community Foundation, at that time a young charity struggling to find its way.

Austin Forsyth, a founder of Saskatoon Community Foundation, wrote in 1990, “A very important event in this year [1982] of change was the birth of Ross Pinder’s brainchild, which he named the Century Club in honor of our city’s centennial.  His first report gave us an indication of the potential of the fundraising idea; from a selected mailing list of only 73 names he acknowledged receipts totaling $12,000.”

Century Club or “Pinder’s Baby” as it had come to be known, created an unrestricted fund, the envy of other Canadian community foundations, of greater than $1,000,000 providing Saskatonians with an opportunity to participate in the work of their community.

“Ross was really a generous, civic-minded guy,” says Margaret.  “He loved Saskatoon so much and had a way of knowing just what was right or wrong for this city.”  Over the years, Ross was involved with the Collegiate Board of Education, St. Paul’s Hospital, Ducks Unlimited, Saskatchewan Roughriders, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Club, United Appeal, and Riverside Country Club, in addition to his thirteen years as a dedicated volunteer with Saskatoon Community Foundation.

“Ross was a people-person, always a great storyteller,” says Margaret.  “The Saskatoon Community Foundation provided a way for Ross to tell his story and a way of expressing his love for the city which had been so good to him.”  Margaret is confident that establishing an endowed fund at Saskatoon Community Foundation was what Ross would want.

The Ross and Margaret Pinder Memorial Fund is an unrestricted fund that supports the charitable needs of the community forever.

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