About Saint Mary's

Honorary Degree - Bassam Nahas

22 April, 2016

Bassam Nahas

Bassam Nahas is President of Cedarwood Development, NANCO Developments Byblos Development Group and CEO of KOD Developments Inc. A successful entrepreneur, he lives by the principle that we learn by doing and we teach by sharing.

Mr. Nahas emigrated from Lebanon with his parents and seven older siblings in 1967, arriving in Halifax through Pier 21. Using an Arabic-English dictionary, he held down two part-time jobs while earning a diploma from St. Patrick’s High School. His hard work paid off with an early acceptance from Dalhousie University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Psychology and Biology, graduating in 1973 – the same year that he became a Canadian citizen.

Within 10 years of earning his degree, Mr. Nahas employed more than 200 people as the owner of the second largest, independent grocery chain in the Maritimes. Continuing a career in the food service industry, he acquired the King of Donair (KOD) fast food restaurant, earning recognition for introducing donairs to Canada.  From there, he forged a name for himself in land development, food marketing and management, consulting, insurance underwriting, importing and exporting, and construction.

Mr. Nahas was instrumental in the founding of St. Antonio`s Christian Orthodox Church and served as the Chairman of their first Parish Council. He was also Past Potentate of Philae Shriners for Nova Scotia and PEI, Past President of the Cabari of Shriners of North America in Nova Scotia and PEI, Permanent Contributing Member Shriners Hospitals for Children, Past President of Freemasons Hall, and Past Master and Most Excellent Master Worshipful Master of Burns Lodge of Freemasonry of Nova Scotia.

Other contributions include membership in the Halifax and Bedford Boards of Trade, and service on the Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services Board, the Board of Immigration, and the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association of Halifax. As well, he is Past Chairman and founder of the Canadian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Much honoured for his leadership and philanthropy, Mr. Nahas is an honorary member of 14 Shrine Temples in North America and the recipient of the St. Antonios Award for Dedicated Service and the St. Antonios Award for Exemplary Service to Church, Family, and Community. He received The Certificate of Meritorious Service from the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America and the Cedar Maple Award for outstanding leadership as Chairman of the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Nahas and his wife Linda (Dempsey) Nahas have three sons and four grandchildren.