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Bruce Oland was born in 1918 to Sidney Culverwell Oland and Herlinda deBedia Oland. He attended King's Collegiate School (Windsor, Nova Scotia) and joined the Cadet Corps at the age of ten, in which he remained until he attended Beaumont College (England) in 1933. In 1937, Bruce registered in the Royal Canadian Artillery Halifax 1st Coast Regiment, through which he served during the Second World War. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1941 and Major in 1950. By 1951, Bruce decided that his true interests were in the Navy and he transferred to the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, accepting the lower rank of Lieutenant with HMCS Scotian. By 1970, Bruce had climbed the ranks to Commodore and was appointed Senior Naval Reserve Advisor to the Director General, Reserves, and Aide-de-Camp to Governor General Roland Michener.
Bruce was active in the brewery industry throughout his life. He attended the United Brewers Academy in New York and, among his several positions, held the title of President of the Brewery Executive of Oland and Son Limited, A. Keith and Son Limited, Oland's Brewers Grain and Yeast Ltd., and Oland's Brewery Limited (Saint John).
Like his father and siblings, Bruce was devoted to community development and volunteer work. Titles he held with different volunteer organizations include Director of the Eastern Claims Committee; Director of the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund; Chairman of the Board, Honorary Governors, Nova Scotia Division, Canadian Association for Retarded Children; Chairman of the Board, Halifax School for the Blind; Director, Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded (National Committee); Member, St. George's Society; Member, United Services Institute; Member, Naval Officers' Association; and Governor, Brewers Association of Canada. In addition, he was a rear commodore in the Royal Canadian Naval Sailing Association and an active volunteer for the Maritime Museum and the Halifax Symphony Society.
Bruce married Ruth Hurley in 1956 and had two children, Richard Hurley and Deborah Ruth. He was an avid sailing enthusiast, squash player, deep-sea fisherman, and skier. He was also a numismatist and philatelist. Bruce Oland passed away in 2009.