Dr. Michel Comeau (DDS’98) is a proud Acadian Nova Scotian and community dentist at his practices in Yarmouth and his home village of Meteghan. But in 2017, at age 48, he realized he was the youngest francophone dentist in the area.

“Our people are losing their ability to receive essential services in their native tongue,” he says. Dr. Comeau says this is relevant because terminologies and meanings can get lost in translation. “It is also about the sustainability of our language and culture.”

So, he made a plan to ensure French-speaking dentists continue to practice in Southwestern Nova Scotia. The father of two — including a son who is considering pursuing dentistry — is not yet a grandfather. Nonetheless, he says, “I look at things with my grandfather lenses; I look 20 to 30 years into the future and plan.”

In addition to recruiting dentists from abroad and creating a framework for francophone dentist recruitment at home, Dr. Comeau established a legacy gift in his will to support Acadian and francophone students at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry.

“If you want apples from an apple tree, the best time to plant it was 20 to 30 years ago, and the next best time is now,” he says.

Dr. Comeau likes the freedom planned giving offers him to both live with security now but pay it forward when he no longer needs the money. And Dalhousie offered him the opportunity to give back to the university where he met his wife and some close friends, and where he received an education that allows him to fulfill his professional dreams. “Once you’ve had a good experience with an entity, then you tend to want other people to have an opportunity to live what you lived.”

“My passion is dentistry. That’s where my heart lies. And our [Acadian] community and our heritage…those are the things I participate in and give to.”

Read more stories of Dalhousie community members who left a gift in their will »