Hi everyone, my name is Joel C. Bruce, I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, but throughout my childhood, my family lived aboard our Yacht, so we moved around a lot. Eventually we settled in the small ocean side town of Morro Bay, CA.
While growing up on the water, sail boat racing/cruising was my main pursuit, but I was also involved in a great many competitive sports including: equestrian, martial arts, and soccer ect. From the start of my education, I was homeschooled (not many middle schools at sea), and I continued to be homeschooled, until I enrolled at Cuesta Junior College. It was at Cuesta, that I got my classes necessary to get my High School Diploma (with Honors). After which, I continued my education at Cuesta.
It was during this time, that I was able to take semesters off to spend one season a year as a Tall Ship sailor. After three years of balancing Tall Ships with Junior College, I decided to make going to sea a career, and applied to the California Maritime Academy. Once I completed my two year A/S Degree, (with High Honors) I started Officer School at CMA, in the fall of 2010. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and High Honors from CMA in 2014, and as one of the most decorated cadets of my year, having been the only 3rd time recipient of the Admirals Leadership award (one of the highest awards the school offered).
Upon graduation from the Academy, I was now a 3rd Mate Unlimited and Merchant Marine Officer. I joined the Masters, Mates, and Pilots Union later that year, and I have been sailing on container ships, employed on various routes around the world, ever since. I am now a Second Mate, 500 Ton Master, and have thus far visited 15 different countries, including: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, China, and Sri Lanka, just to name a few. It was in-between these container ship contracts, that I met and started dating, a Scottish/Irish lass named Lauren McCallon (Clan MacCallum). In the fall of 2017 I proposed to Lauren at her Clan’s Castle in Scotland. Whose Laird was kind enough to give us a guided tour, and let us explore for the day. A couple of months later, we closed on our first house and property in the Santa Cruz Mountains of CA. In November of 2018, Lauren and I were married, and with the swearing of her oath to our Lord Elgin, Lauren McCallon Bruce, is now a full member of the Bruce Family!
I would like to back track a little bit, because it was while I was working through my four years at the Academy, that I decided to attend my first Scottish Games and Gathering. Even though my family had never been in doubt as to our Scottish Heritage, I had never been to a Gathering before. After spending a day enjoying the events, I was rather dismayed to have seen not a trace of the Bruce’s there. I decided then, to try and research and see if there were more Bruce’s out there, who felt the same. Well it didn’t take long to discover the Family of Bruce International, and after learning that the California Commissioner had, most regrettably, been unable to represent the Family for several years. I inquired with my immediate Bruce family members, as to the possibility of stepping up and bringing the Family of Bruce back to Northern California. Both the International and close Family agreed, with enthusiasm, and now that close family, originally involving: brother, parents, uncles, grandparents, and cousins, has been joined by FOBII members, to come together several times every year, and proudly bring the Bruce to the Scottish Gatherings!