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Providence remembers Martin Bergen: builder, philanthropist and friend
2017-03-22
 
It was with sadness that Providence learned of the passing of Martin Bergen earlier this month, but it is with thankfulness that the institution remembers the builder, philanthropist and friend.
 
Bergen, who immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1953, is best known as the founder of Viceroy Painting and Decorating and Edison Properties and as the co-founder of Marlborough Development. Fort Garry Place, along Assiniboine Avenue and across from Bonnycastle Park, is his impressive contribution to the Winnipeg skyline.
 
Providence, too, benefited from Bergen’s passion to build.
 
In 1984, as part of the Forward Free capital campaign, he built the men’s dorm on campus—Bergen Hall—and paid the $1.1 million for its construction. Overseeing the process at project manager, he was personally invested in the job and often enjoyed participating in the labour.
 
On one occasion, while working at the Otterburne site, he fell off a ladder and was taken to the hospital in St-Pierre-Jolys. Undeterred, and not as badly hurt as first thought, he returned to campus and continued working.
 
Bergen’s wife, Ruth, also valued the mission of Providence and contributed the nearly $500,000 to renovate Providence House. She predeceased Martin in 2001.
 
Providence is grateful to have been associated with the Bergens, whose generosity and friendship lives on through two of the institution’s residential buildings.
 
(Top photo courtesy Winnipeg Free Press.)
 

         

 
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