Well de­served

Still go­ing strong at age 78, John Bragg re­ceives Or­der of Nova Sco­tia


John Bragg re­ceives pres­ti­gious award for busi­ness, com­mu­nity lead­er­ship.

John Bragg’s still got game. “I have this say­ing that, ‘ev­ery day I go to work I try to bring value,’” said Bragg. “It’s not al­ways easy to do, but I work at it.”

Bragg, now 78, has brought value to ru­ral Nova Sco­tia since found­ing, own­ing and op­er­at­ing Ox­ford Frozen Foods in 1968.

That value was rec­og­nized ear­lier this month at Prov­ince House in Halifax, where he re­ceived the Or­der of Nova Sco­tia.

Bragg has re­ceived many awards through­out the years, in­clud­ing the Or­der of Canada in 1996. He says this lat­est award is a great honour.

“We have so many peo­ple in Nova Sco­tia that vol­un­teer and con­trib­ute to life, and it’s good to see our own rec­og­nized,” he said.

Bragg still keeps a busy sched­ule. On week­days, he ar­rives at his of­fice at Ox­ford Frozen Foods be­tween 8 and 8:30 a.m., and goes home be­tween 5 or 5:30 p.m.

“I usu­ally take stuff home in my brief­case ei­ther at night or on the week­end. There’s al­ways lots to do,” he said.

Bragg’s drive and am­bi­tion comes from love of the job, and a love for the peo­ple he works with.

“I’ve worked my en­tire life and I en­joy work. Also, we’ve got great peo­ple. I don’t know what I’d do with­out work and the peo­ple I work with.”

Bragg has more than 5,000 em­ploy­ees through­out his net­work, which also in­cludes Eastlink and In­land Tech­nolo­gies.

Bragg has never lived far from home. Born in Springhill, he grew up in Colling­wood, went to high school in Ox­ford, and con­tin­ues to live Colling­wood.

“I think the qual­ity of life in Nova Sco­tia is tremen­dous, and the stan­dard of liv­ing is great,” said Bragg. “So much of what we do is free; hunt­ing, fish­ing, walk­ing in the woods, en­joy­ing life. I think it’s a great place to bring up a fam­ily.”

Bragg says he would much rather live in the coun­try than in a big city, but liv­ing in a small town isn’t out of the ques­tion.

“Amherst is nice too, but it’s not ex­actly a metropoli­tan area.”

Busi­ness is built upon transactions and in­ter­ac­tions, and Bragg’s ru­ral Nova Sco­tia roots have helped him build strong re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple through­out the world.

“I think that those of us who live in ru­ral Nova Sco­tia have a sense of con­fi­dence that al­lows us to meet freely,” said Bragg. “When you’re do­ing busi­ness, the peo­ple you meet and the way you do busi­ness and the way you in­ter­act with peo­ple is crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of do­ing busi­ness.

“We’ve been do­ing busi­ness with a Ja­panese com­pany now for 30 or 35 years, and we have friends in Ger­many and France, and through­out the world,” he added. “There’s noth­ing like build­ing re­la­tion­ships.”

As long as he keeps adding value to his busi­ness em­pire, Bragg will con­tinue to build friend­ships at home and abroad; but it’s not all work and no play. Bragg’s also got game on the golf course.

“I travel in my work a lot but I do take lots of hol­i­days,” said Bragg, in­clud­ing a re­cent trip to Florida for a few days, and he en­joys play­ing golf.

Bragg’s 2018 Or­der of Nova Sco­tia bi­og­ra­phy read: “Start­ing with a frozen food plant in 1968, John has built an em­pire of pri­vate busi­ness that op­er­ates on an in­ter­na­tional scale. Un­der his lead­er­ship, Ox­ford Frozen Foods, Eastlink, and In­land Tech­nolo­gies are some of Nova Sco­tia’s best-known com­pa­nies. John also shares his ex­per­tise to help other At­lantic Cana­dian busi­nesses grow and de­velop, serv­ing on boards and in­vest­ing in star­tups. John has a pas­sion­ate com­mit­ment to Nova Sco­tia, par­tic­u­larly our ru­ral ar­eas, and shares his profits through many char­i­ta­ble ef­forts, most no­tably in­vest­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in our re­gion’s uni­ver­si­ties.”

The other five re­cip­i­ents of the 2018 Or­der of Nova Sco­tia were: Gym­nast El­lie Black, so­cial jus­tice ac­tivist Clotilda Dou­glas-Yakim­chuk, his­to­rian Janet Kitz, care­giver and ac­tivist Patti Me­lan­son, and Wade Smith, for­mer prin­ci­pal at Citadel High School in Halifax who died in 2017 at the age of 50 af­ter a bat­tle with stom­ach can­cer.


Newly minted with the Or­der of Nova Sco­tia, John Bragg has his photo taken with Pre­mier Stephen McNeil, right, and Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Arthur J. LeBlanc.

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