No anniversary celebration is complete without a cake. Cutting the cake from left are Captain The Reverend Judson Bridgewater, Acting Faith Community Coordinator; Brigadier General Guy Chapdelaine, Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces; Parishioner Doris Graves and Garrison Petawawa Commander Colonel Louis Lapointe. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
A special commendation was presented to Brigadier General Guy Chapdelaine, Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces on Oct. 1. to thank him for his support. (Left to right) BGen Chapdelaine; Captain The Reverend Judson Bridgewater, Acting Faith Community Coordinator; Padre Matthew Lucas and Chapel Chairperson Amanda Cheverie. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Special service celebrates 50th anniversary of St. George’s Chapel
By: Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017
St. George’s Chapel has been a pillar of faith for the past 50 years.
Parishioners, visitors, and former and current Padres celebrated a half century of service on Oct. 1. For all this time, the chapel has been a place of worship and fellowship as well as a beacon of inspiration and support to Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. “Fifty years shows how the community came together... and the spirituality that the church brings them,” said Garrison Petawawa Commander Colonel Louis Lapointe.
As well as the special service and fellowship, commendations were handed out to parishioners who have been affiliated with the chapel community for the past five decades. Doreen Ambroziak, Marie and Bill Arnold, Elaine and Jack Chalmers, Thelma and John Hanshaw, Marie Maher, Bob Robertson, Sharon Slaney and Bruce and Bernice Westgarth were honoured. Many of them are not military members, yet still they pushed for a Protestant chapel on Garrison grounds. “They still come to this church,” said Col Lapointe. “They’ve been part of this community for a long time and we are very thankful to those people.”
Despite the Garrison having been established in 1905, it did not have a permanent place of worship for Protestants. An H-hut had been set aside to serve as one in the 1940s. It wasn’t until 1967 that the current chapel building was constructed and consecrated for use, named after the warrior Saint. As a soldier, St. George was the perfect namesake. “His example speaks to soldiers and their families but also to all Christians as he can teach what it means to struggle daily against the forces of sin, ignorance, fear, and injustice,” said Brigadier General Guy Chapdelaine, Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Over the years, more than 100 chaplains have served at Garrison Petawawa and some made the journey back to celebrate with their former parishioners. “Just look around you and you will see that the seeds that they sowed in faith so many years ago have been watered and tended longingly by so many,” said BGen Chapdelaine. “Such that even now, here you are. Still reaping the harvest blessed by God because of their vision and faithfulness.”
Thanks were also given to Hilda Young, the Anniversary Committee, members of both the Chapel and its sister St. Francis of Assisi as well as Darlene TerMarsh and Sosun Suh.