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Canon Buckland

Canon Buckland

Passed in: Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada
Passed on: March 30th, 2010

Buckland, Rev. Canon Basil J. - of Sussex passed away at the Kiwanis Nursing Home on March 30, 2010 at the age of 95. He was the son of the late Harold and Stella (Wedge) Buckland. Canon Buckland's lifelong commitment to serving the Anglican Church began with reading the lessons at the Old Dutch Church in Halifax in 1936 and, after being ordained in 1939, serving in six parishes throughout New Brunswick. As the senior priest of the Diocese of Fredericton, he continued to be actively involved in the ministry into his nineties and was recognized as the model of a rural priest. His commitment was to all the people of these parishes, their ways of life and their needs. He made a point of visiting all the families in the parish and partaking in their daily lives. Visits usually took place in the kitchen, but could be in the barn or field if that was where his parishioner was to be found. Ministering in early years in the Parish of Cambridge and Waterborough meant battling the elements. At times winter weather made it necessary to travel on foot from church to church and to be away from home for several days, but he rarely missed a service. Winters also meant cutting wood for heating and ice for refrigeration, and summers a vegetable garden sufficient to provide for his family throughout the year. In 1945 he helped establish Camp Medley converting the Gunter farm chicken barns to dorms and being the person on site "making things work" for campers in those early years. Another early and continuing endeavour was the Queens County Fair at Gagetown where he served on the Board of Directors, as Secretary Treasurer and Vice President. One of his greatest annual pleasures was to spend a day at the Queens County Fair. Shortly after moving from Lower Jemseg to Welsford in 1952, the largest military training camp in Canada was announced taking part of his new Parish of Petersville, Greenwich and Kars. Visiting and comforting the people who were being displaced by Camp Gagetown, many of whom were leaving homes that had been in their families for generations, was a most difficult, yet important, part of his ministry. While losing part of his parish and the huge Headline Church to the army camp, he became the motivator for building a new church, St. Peters, in Wickham. The word "build" is to be taken literally, as he drove nails along with the members of the congregation. He continued to serve this community throughout his ministry. After two years in Bathurst, Canon Buckland moved to the Parish of Gagetown in1958. One of his initiatives during his eleven years there was to establish a Sunday school in Elm Hill, which was a small community of the descendants of slaves who had come to New Brunswick with the loyalists. This endeavour proved to be beneficial for many aspects of life in Elm Hill, and for Canon Buckland who enjoyed the warm greetings of his former students throughout his life. His last "Busy Parish in Kings County" was Waterford and St. Mark where he served from 1970 to 1979. Canon Buckland enjoyed a long retirement continuing to take services, growing flowers that were the envy of all and writing an excellent account of his experience as a rural priest entitled "The Country Parson, Memoirs of a Rural New Brunswick Ministry". He was known to many throughout his life as "The Parson", a tribute to his deep involvement in the lives of the people he served and his compassion and respect for all. He was a kind and gentle man who will be deeply missed. He is survived by his brother, Dave and his wife Joan of Gondola Point; four children: Roger and his wife Vicki of Rigaud, PQ, Dick and his wife Rosemary of Calgary, AB, Joan Sargeant and her husband Daniel of Bedford, NS and Anne Buckland of Calgary; seven grandchildren: Kenneth, Elise, Timothy, Phœbe, Andrew, Peter and Ian and two great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his wife Nancy, who was a source of great support throughout his ministry.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Wallace Funeral Home, 34 Sunnyside Drive, Sussex, (506-433-1176), where visitation will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2010 from 2-4 and 7-9pm. A Celebration of Canon Buckland's life will be held from Trinity Anglican Church on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:00am. There will be a time of fellowship with the family following the service in the Church Gym. The interment will take place at St. James Church Cemetery, Lower Jemseg. As an expression of sympathy donations made to the Trinity Church Organ Fund, Sussex or St. James Church General Fund, Lower Jemseg would be appreciated by the family.

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