Lloyd and Nancy Robertson Youth Initiative Fund
Supporting opportunities for disadvantaged youth
How can a caring community support disadvantaged kids? Just ask Lloyd and Nancy Robertson.
Lloyd Robertson grew up in Stratford as the youngest of ten children from two separate families and didn’t have an easy time of it. “My dad was 60 when I was born, and became ill when I was 10. My mom was also sick, and eventually they were both hospitalized,” says Lloyd. “I became almost a transient foster child, but learned right away who was there to help when you needed it most.”
For young Lloyd this was a combination of siblings, neighbours and friends, and he quickly got a sense of being part of a larger community family. “Everyone took me under their wing,” he remembers. “Even the fellow who drove the bread wagon would take me along on his rounds. He’d give me 25¢ to run a loaf of bread or a pie up to Mrs. So-and-So’s front porch.”
Lloyd’s community-based family expanded when he made some lifelong friends at Stratford’s local high school. These included a young fellow whose stepdad happened to own CJCS, the local radio station where 18-year-old Lloyd landed the interview that launched his career in broadcasting. Meanwhile, Nancy Barrett was also growing up in Stratford, although in less daunting circumstances.
“We loved it,” she remembers. “My family didn’t have a car until I was 18, but the town was small enough and friendly enough that my friends and I just walked everywhere. It was so pretty, and there was always so much to do.”
Lloyd and Nancy began dating in their senior year, and married in 1956. By this time Nancy had completed training as an elementary school teacher, and Lloyd was moving into television.
Over the next 60 years, the couple raised four daughters and lived in communities across Canada. But they never forgot their roots, and they still visit Stratford as often as they can.
“When we found out about the Community Foundation, we knew instantly we wanted to set up a fund,” says Lloyd. “And we specifically wanted to help youth who needed to know their community was behind them.”
Nancy agrees. “We feel so lucky to have grown up here, and wanted today’s kids to feel that same level of comfort and support. We’re so glad we can help.”
We’re thrilled to help Lloyd and Nancy support their hometown – thank you both so much.
“My family fell on hard times when I was a boy. But I learned very quickly that you can overcome even the toughest situations if you have a strong community.”
~ Lloyd Robertson, fund holder and legendary Canadian Broadcaster