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Bruce Raszmann, LM 3
1934 - 2011
In 1934 Bruce Raszmann entered the world in Monkton, Ontario, and attended elementary school in Elma. During this time, the doctors blamed bicycle riding for dissolving Bruce’s hip socket. This injury required Bruce to remain in a cast with a ten pound window weight strapped to his leg for a period of 1-1/2 years. Due to his immobility, Bruce would lay in bed passing time playing with Canadian pennies. He figures this playing with money was the start of both his future numismatic interests and a career in accounting. Throughout his life he has remained a loyal member of the Monkton United Church still traveling each week for service (weather and schedule permitting).
Bruce Raszmann began working for the Mutual Life Company of Canada on July 5, 1954, and retired having attained the position of senior payroll clerk for agents and managers, January 1, 1992. Over the years, he worked in various roles including several concerning taxation. He said, "income tax and all that stuff... I was just an ordinary Joe Blow, same as I am now. I never went to college; they taught me everything on the job and I picked it up."
Bruce said he didn’t really have a favourite part of numismatics; he used to collect everything. When asked what other collecting hobbies he had, since most numismatists seem to be multi-hobbyists, Bruce replied, "I have some of everything but most of it is just a bunch of junk."
Bruce joined the Waterloo Coin Society in September of 1959, mere months after the club was founded in March of the same year, after reading an advertisement about the club that founding president Bill English ran in the Waterloo Chronicle. In December, he accepted the role of Treasurer, a position that he has faithfully maintained for over 50 years before passing the torch in 2010.
Beyond his heavy involvement with the Waterloo Coin Society's finances and membership, he was responsible for copying and mailing the monthly newsletter which had a circulation of about 100. Bruce was also a member of the Stratford Coin Club, the Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors Club, the Canadian Association of Wooden Money Collectors, and the "Third Tuesday" club for Mutual Life retirees. Bruce was also the founding Treasurer of the Ontario Numismatic Association, a position he held continuously until his death in 2011. Bruce was a part of the O.N.A.'s founding convention in 1962, hosted by the Waterloo Coin Society.
Bruce was not sure when, where and how he met fellow Mutual employee Don Robb, but it may have been in 1961. Don later became a member of the Waterloo Coin Society in 1970. As Bruce himself often pointed out (and Don was quick to agree about!), he is considered to be a "pain in the a$$" with his frequent reminders to renew early, etc., but he has kept the Waterloo Coin Society on track for over 50 years.
In 2010, with a workload that has continuously grown over the years and with looming health concerns, Bruce decided to step down as W.C.S. Treasurer. At the March 30, 1968, annual coin show, banquet and bingo event, Bruce was awarded life membership # 3, which continues to be a rare honour today. At the April 14, 1973, Ontario Numismatic Association convention, Bruce received the O.N.A.'s highest honour, the Award of Merit. Bruce was freqently and lovingly referred to as "Ol' Moneybags" with the moniker appearing in the newsletter on countless occasions. One of the many features Bruce is remembered for is the annual Christmas cake draw that he started in 1961 and maintained for the rest of his tenure. The honours continued to roll in as Bruce was made a Fellow of the O.N.A. in 1999. At his final meeting as Treasurer, close friend and past president Don Robb read out a flowing tribute in appreciation of his 50 years of service and membership in the club.
Bruce faithfully attended most coin shows in southwestern Ontario hosted by local clubs, and he was a frequent attendee at monthly meetings for clubs in Waterloo, Stratford, Ingersoll, Woodstock, Cambridge, South Wellington and Brantford. His work with the O.N.A. saw him host most of the executive meetings. He never missed an O.N.A. convention regardless of where in Ontario it was held.
Bruce Raszmann passed away peacefully in September, 2011, and was laid to rest in Elma, Ontario.
Bruce's legacy lives on because his sound financial management laid the foundations for a strong and healthy club that we continue to enjoy today.
This page contains numerous excerpts from articles published in the Waterloo Coin Society Newsletter, including:
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