Man does favours and good deeds for neighbours

Josh Pennell
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Bernie Oliver is proving to his neighbours that it truly is the little things that count.

Rosalind Hodder thinks her neighbour Bernie Oliver is a good Samaritan for all the good deeds he does around their apartment complex in St. John’s.

“I could go on all day. He just does so much,” says Rosalind Hodder who lives in the same St. John’s apartment complex as Oliver.  

It was Oliver’s persistent good deeds that inspired Hodder to contact The Telegram.

“I’ll get off work tonight at 10 p.m. and I guarantee you my step will be cleared off and I’d say everybody else’s around that,” says Hodder.

But it’s not just clearing a bit of snow for people.

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“He’ll go and get groceries at the store and drop them off to other neighbours. He’ll go and buy a bag of salt and leave it at someone else’s door,” she says.

Oliver was once the superintendent of the building, but hasn’t been in that role for a number of years. If he hears of someone needing a small repair done, he shows up ready to take on the job. He overheard Hodder telling her sister one time there was a problem with her toilet and the plumber was taking awhile getting in to look at it.

“One day I have a knock on my door.”

It was Oliver.

“He went in like three days in a row because it wasn’t getting fixed and the plumber still hadn’t shown up. He fixed that for me. He does that for a lot of people. He does little repairs,” says Hodder.

Hodder has also come home to find pop or other treats left by her door for her young son.

“He even seen me out walking in storms going up to get my little guy and he said, ‘C’mon. I’ll give you a ride up.’”

His good deeds reach beyond his immediate building.

“He not only helps me out. He helps everybody out. It’s just above and beyond anything that I’ve seen.”

Oliver doesn’t see it that way.

“I just do it to keep myself busy,” he says.

“There’s a lot of people in a rush here in the morning and I’ve got a bit of time on my hands right now, so I don’t mind.”

Oliver was the superintendent of the building before Hodder lived there. He was working as a heavy-equipment operator on the Muskrat Falls project, but gave that up to take care of his wife, who was terminally ill and died just days before Christmas.

“It was 12 wonderful years,” he says of his marriage.

Hodder says Oliver spent day and night in palliative care for a month and a half with his wife.

“When he got home sometimes at five or six in the morning you’d see him out there still clearing the ice off people’s cars.”

Although he was doing such kind acts before, since his wife died Oliver has even more conviction for his altruistic behaviour.

“You’ve got to keep occupied,” he says.

His goodwill isn’t lost on his neighbours.

“I’m not trying to boost him up too much. I think I’m just boosting him up exactly what he deserves,” says Hodder.

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Recent comments

  • Sheila Powers
    January 23, 2016 - 12:18

    Bern Geraldine would be so proud of you as she always was in the past. God Bless you for helping others the way you do. xoxo

  • Sheila Powers
    January 23, 2016 - 05:30

    Bern is certainly a caring man with a huge heart and would do amy thing to make the lives of others in need better. Love that man who was married to my cousin. She was blessed to have him in her life.

  • Paul
    January 22, 2016 - 16:07

    Way to go Bern. Very proud to know you and call you a buddy. Great to see this public recognition of your constant giving to others as always.

  • Marg Marrie
    January 22, 2016 - 15:23

    I am proud to know you Bern ... Kindness can never go astray ... You are a good person ... Keep up the good work ... Marg

  • Louise Troke
    January 22, 2016 - 10:42

    Mr. Oliver, you have really touched my heart this morning. It is people like you who helps show us who God really is. In a world where there is sooo much turmoil,you show us what true humanity really is. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a beautiful. You have touched many lives and great will be your reward from the Master! Thank you for making my day. May God continue to use and bless you where you are.

  • Richard Cranium
    January 22, 2016 - 09:39

    Well done Mr. Oliver. The world needs more people like you.

  • IVY
    January 22, 2016 - 09:27


  • Nicole coady
    January 22, 2016 - 08:57

    Bern is such a wonderful man, as was his wife who I had worked with for a number of years, I am so happy to see this, Bern is still doing things to make people smile.

  • Marlayne
    January 22, 2016 - 08:46

    So nice to hear about the goodness that surrounds us!

  • Robin Dicks
    January 22, 2016 - 08:33

    I'm proud to say I know Bern personally. He's the very rare kind of person you can rely on for help when you need it, not tomorrow, not next week, but when you need it. I'm a bit in awe of him right now. Even while enduring a world of pain with the passing of his wife, he's still looking out for and taking care of the people around him. Bern reminds us how we all should live. Even if it's just doing the little things for others that make their lives easier.

  • Kimberley Evoy
    January 22, 2016 - 08:08

    Bernie would frequent my workplace quite often and was loved by everyone who served him. He was always chatty and upbeat and always had a smile. I'm glad that he is being featured in this article because he deserves to be recognized for everything that he does. He is one of the sweetest, kindest, unselfish men that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. You're an angel Bernie.

  • Lori
    January 22, 2016 - 07:36

    what a beautiful article and an obviously beautiful man! wish there were ore like him.

  • Jamie
    January 22, 2016 - 07:05

    Sounds like a wonderful man! Thank you, kind sir!

  • Michelle
    January 22, 2016 - 06:39

    Awesome story, but I would expect no better from Bern. Bernie's whole family are the salt of the earth, they are amazing people who always see the good in people and will go beyond to help their neighbour. So nice to see such good news in the paper, nice job Bernie and Rosalind you are truly lucky to have him as a neighbour and friend.

  • Jackie
    January 22, 2016 - 06:01

    Oh my wow Bernie. So glad he got this well deserved recognition, I lived in the complex some years ago and he was always there for me in good times and bad times. He is truly an inspiration, a truly wonderful man.... Hugs for Bernie