St. George’s Church 1884-2007

ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH, OSTREA LAKE

1884 – 2007

Below is a brief history of St. George’s Church of Ostrea Lake, Nova Scotia.  The information for these years 1884 to 1984 for the Church’s Centennial Celebration was compiled by Sheila Marks and Charlotte Smith.  The information for the years 1985 to 2009 was compiled by Crystal Kent with extensive research thorough the Historical records at the Dioceses of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island’s Office in Halifax.

1882 -  The land where St. George’s Church is situated was deeded August 2nd. The land was given by Mary Ann Bowser and her sons Henry and Adam Bowser, for the sum of one dollar ($1.00) paid by the Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia. The deed was witnessed by Rev. James Lowey and William T. Kent.

1884 -  St. George’s Church was built measuring approximately 21 feet by 27 feet.  It opened for devote service by Rev. James Lowey, priest in charge of the Parish of Ship Harbour.

1895 -  April 28th a new vestry organ was used for the first time.

1899 -  January 2nd The Anglican Parish of St. Thomas (known as and referred to as “The Parish of Musquodoboit”) was newly constituted and Rev. Sidney H. Morgan was the first rector of the Parish. The newly formed Parish included St. Thomas (Musquodoboit Harbour), St. James (Head of Jeddore) and St. George’s (Ostrea Lake).

1905 – St. George’s was remodeled in June. While being remodeled the Church Services were held in the Ostrea Lake School (now the Ostrea Lake/Pleasant Point Volunteer Fire Hall). Services were resumed August 6th by Rev. T. Davis

1906 – Holy Trinity Located at East Petpeswick was consecrated and included in The Parish of Musquodoboit.

1910 -  At the close of the Church Service, Wednesday, April 13th, seven (7) men were admitted to membership of the Church Men’s Society by Edward H. Ball.  The members were Dennis Williams, Adam Bowser, Oliver Dauphinee, John Williams, Thomas Williams, Norman McGreggor and Ernest Mosher.  The meetings were to be held the second and fourth Saturday of each month at 7 P.M. The dues were three cents ($0.03).

-  There was a new bell hung in the tower of St. George’s on October 5th and dedicated on October 8th by Rev. W. Langston. The bell is a steel alley, 23 inches in size, 600 lbs. in weight, costing $37.00.  The bell was obtained from the C.S. Bell Co., of Hillsboro, Ohio.

-  A Sunday school was started with Dennis Williams as superintendent and Ernest Mosher as teacher.

1918 -  St. George’s Sanctuary Guild was organized Friday July 26th by Rev. L.R. Bent.

1922 – The total income from the Guild’s Garden Party held September 18th was $223.45.

1945 -  At the annual Church Meeting held on January 28th it was moved by Stanley Williams and approved by Jeff Williams that St. George’s Church be wired for electric lights. The wiring was completed by A.H. Conrod, Head Chezzetcook, August 8th for the total sum of $66.70.

1949 -  Capt. and Mrs. Ralph Williams presented St. George’s Church with a new Bible.

1950 -  A new organ was purchased by St. George’s Ladies Guild.

1951 -  A new churchyard fence was completed and a vestry built.

1953 -  $913.00 was spent to repair the Church roof and sidewalls. $500.00 was donated by Dennis Williams and the remainder given by St. Georges Ladies Guild.

1955 -  A new carpet was laid by Roland Williams and Clifford Kent (Wardens).

1956 -  A great deal of repairs were done to St. George’s Church. Our first oil furnace was installed, one side of the church shingled, a new chimney, basement excavated and an entrance built to it.

- St. George’s Ladies Guild realized the sum of $621.91 from seven (7) suppers. $533.30 of this money was given toward church expenses; $62.96 was used to purchase a new Altar cloth, burse, veil and pall.

1959-60 – Property purchased and building of new Church Hall was completed.

1962 -  New furnace installed in December.

1964 -  At the annual meeting it was suggested that Mrs. Rita Bower be paid the sum of $5.00 a month (half from the Church and half from the Hall) to keep the books. Although Mrs. Bowser declined this as she didn’t want payment for the keeping of the books and despite her protest the Motion was carried.

1965 -  A special meeting was held on December 10yth regarding the condition of the Church building and the possibility of purchasing the Ostrea Lake School for church purposes.  Extensive repairs were required which included raising the church, new roof, timber under the floor removed and new timber put in.

-           At the annual meeting there were so few in attendance that the discussion for repairs to the church were ceased until a further date.

1966 -  It was agreed that in the spring the church borrow the money to pay for the necessary repairs to the Church – Never Carried.

1967 -  The financial records for the Church and the Hall were separated and two treasurers were installed.  Mrs. Rita Bowser for the Church and Mr. Murray McGregor for the Hall.

-           Agreed at annual meeting that the much needed repairs would be conducted in 1968.

-           Also moved and carried at the Annual meeting that both Church and Hall  Treasurers receive$25.00 each for their services.

1969-71 -        Major repairs were done to the interior of St. George’s Church, consisting of paneling the walls over the varnished woodwork, tiling the ceiling, painted the woodwork, tiling the main floor and replacing the center Altar window glass.  Also the pews were replaced with ones from the Baptist Church, Pleasant Point, for the sum of one dollar ($1.00) each.

1971 -  Only 4 members attended the annual meeting held January 23, 1972.  It was decided to hold a meeting after Easter to plan other business pertainng to Church work.

1973 -  An offer of a street light being erected in front of the Church in Memory of Arthur Williams by his wife Mrs. Sadie Williams was accepted.

1974 -  April 1st St. George’s Cemetery Fund was set up. No annual meeting held.

1975 -  Diocesan Cemetery Endowment Fund was set up with an initial deposit of $1200.00. A letter from the firm of Druryneted. Advising of a bequest of $1500 to St. George’s from the estate of the late Helen J. Bowser was read.

- Both Wardens (Hubert Williams and Murray McGregor) resigned. As there was no other members to act in that capacity the choosing and electing of wardens was left until a later date

1976 -  Installation of a partial fence around Cemetery; a new furnace and fourteen new hymn books were donated in memory of Owen McGregor by his brothers and sisters.

1978 -  Once again at the 1977 annual meeting held January 29th there were no wardens available to take positions at the time. Elections of wardens were to take place at a later date. – No record of such a meeting taking place at a later date.

- Reported that Mr. Douglas Faulkner put the organ in working condition. A sum of money was extended to him but he refused any payment.

- Three names for wardens (Sheila Marks, Charlotte Smith and Mr. Michael Broomfield) were to go before the Parish Annual meeting to be held on February 6th, 1979.

1979 -  Moved and carried that the necessary funds required to do repairs and painting to the exterior of the church be used from the Cemetery Fund. Never carried through with.

- St. George’s opened their Sunday School on October 4th. This ran from 1979 to 1980.

1980 -  The Church was painted by Paul Cleveland and the money was taken from the Cemetery Fund as per the minutes of 1978.

- Resignation from Mrs. Rita Bowser after 33 years of serving the Church was accepted.

1981 – The vestry roof was repaired as well as half the Church roof. Also the fence surround the Church was completed.

1982 -  The headstones in the graveyard were repaired.

1984 -  June 11th St. George’s Ladies Guild donated to St. George’s Church the sum of $2,363.40 profit from St. George’s Annual Lobster Supper.

- In commemoration of St. George’s Centennial, plates were made and for the sum of six dollars $dies Guild members for the sum of six dollars ($6.00) each.

- October 27th The Halifax Herald Newspaper published an article about St. George’s Centennial under the title of “Churches by the Sea”. In the article several historical points were made which included that Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia, the Rt.Rev. L.F. Hatfield celebrated Holy Communion and that Mrs. Viola Dauphinee at the age of 92 was able to travel from the Masonic Home in Windsor to be at the Church where she was married and several of her children were baptized.

- Two gifts were dedicated at the Centennial Service.  One was a missal stand given by the family of W. Seymour McGregor in memory of the McGregor family which settled at Ostrea Lake in the late 1800’s and began active and faithful membership in St. George’s Church. And the second gift was a sanctuary lamp given by his wife, Florence and the family of the late Captain Fulton T. Williams. The lamp was dedicated to the memory of “The Master Mariners of St. George’s Church and Ostrea Lake”.

1995 -  Headstones in the Graveyard were straightened and the Church roof sprayed twice to get rid of the moss growing at the peak.

1996 -  A new roof was put on the Church. The total cost of the new roof was $4,150.00. Cameron Williams raised $3,800.00 for the project and the remaining $350.00 came out of the Building Fund.

- The outside and part of the inside of the Church were painted.

- Repairs were done to the Church Hall as well.  Lifting tiles upstairs were removed and replaced, the kitchen tiles were removed and cushion floor was put down and down stairs received a paint job. The total cost of these repairs came to $1,800.94 with donations coming in from Mr. Cliff Kent and Ralph Connor Co. Ltd., in the amount of $1806.05 which meant that the hall repairs cost us nothing.  Special thanks to Fred Kent of Ralph Connor Co. Ltd., for all his time and labour he put into the Hall Repairs.

- A Fire Marshal inspection was done in April and the results were not good.  A lot more repairs have to be made to the Hall to bring it up to standards.

1997 -  The exterior of the Church Hall was painted. There was one break-in with a Fire Exit door needing repaired; furnace oil (approximately ¼ tank) was stolen causing pipes to freeze and one pipe to break.

- The East and South sides of the Church property were cleared in order to expand the cemetery; one headstone was repaired and all the stones were cleaned with high pressure sprayer at the cost of $3.00 per stone.

1998 -  Two Special Congregational Meetings were held regarding the financial situation of the Church. It was agreed after review by a specially formed committee that the Church Hall be sold.  With the Bishops approval the Church Hall was sold. The Hall was sold on December 17th for the sum of $35,000.00. All contents were given back to families who donated them with dishes, tables, chairs, etc. going to The Ostrea Lake/Pleasant Point Volunteer Fire Department (Ostrea Lake) and St. James’ Church Hall (Head of Jeddore). After legal, distribution fees, septic tank emptied, removal of two oil tanks, etc. it was estimated that the final proceeds should exceed $31,700.00. It was moved by Ivan Kent and seconded by Wayne Kent that $30,000.00 of the proceeds be invested into the Diocesan Trust Fund.

1999 -  The cost of Cemetery Plots went up from $10.00 per single lot or $20.00 per double lot with perpetual care of $100.00 additional to $90.00 per single lot and $175.00 per double lot which would include perpetual care.

2000 -  The floor at the alter of the Church was repaired. More repairs to the rest of the floor must be done following a thorough inspection. The doors were repaired and the inside of the church was painted.

2001 -  Started holding Variety Shows as well as Lobster Social Evenings to supplement the Church’s income.

2002 -  The Church was painted inside, shelves in the vestry and under the alter were installed; sills were replaced, flashing replaced, cracks in the foundation filled in and the bell tower was reinforced and screened in at a total cost of $5,503,.05.

- A new burse, veil, Red Holy Cross were purchased at the cost of $145.99 through the memorial fund.

2003 -  A drain was put in to get rid of the excess water on the grave sites.

- The Church was sided; new altar rail was built and installed; the exterior plaque was refurbished; the big stained glass window was repaired; several window panes were repaired due to vandals.

2004 -  A second street light was installed by HRM across from the Church parking lot to light up the area better; the Church doors were painted; fire extinguishers, exit light and telephone line were installed

2005 -  A hand made wooden Pascal Candle Stand was purchased from Lou Pitcher at the cost of $500.00 and dedicated in memory of Lillian and Ray Truen.  As well, a wooden cross was purchased and dedicated in memory of Cora Kent.

2006 -  Building inspections were done by the Regional Dean (Rev. Tricia Ingram). Dave Ingram built a book shelf to hold the hymn and prayer books.

2007 -  At the 2006 Annual Meeting held in January it was with great sadness that the motions was moved, seconded and carried that due to the decreasing attendance and support of St. George’s congregation the church be closed and deconsecrated. Two of the office holders have reached beyond there maximum years according to Canon 35 as amended in 2001, and the other two members have reached the end of their term and wish for a break.

- A Farewell Service of Thanksgiving was held at the Church on April 22nd with the Prayer of Deconsecrating and Sentenced, Renewal of Baptismal Vows and The Blessing all being done by Bishop Fred Hiltz. Ironically the building was full to overflowing with several dozen people standing outside.

- In October one family was very interested in the building. They made an official offer which was accepted on the condition that the building be moved within 9 months of the Bishop’s approval.

- Memorial items inside the Church were returned to the families.  Some items were sent to St. James and St. Thomas Churches per the request of the families. Larger items such as the pulpit and alter which we could not find homes for were taken apart and used for such items as bookshelves in the other two churches as well as into ‘pewelry’ (pew jewelry) [wooden crosses, earrings, brooches, etc.] by Gail Fulop, Eastern Passage, NS.

2008 -  The offer was never signed by the party and after six months we had to ask the family to either sign the documentation or withdraw their offer in January. The church building was then listed with a real estate agency and although there appeared to be several people interested in purchasing the building a sale did not go through.

- Having no one interested in purchasing the building by December it was decided to ask for permission to have the building torn down.  Three different companies  came down to look  at the building two refused to even consider the job and the third company ‘Ship Harbour Excavation’ owned and operated by Ralph Bayers of Ship Harbour, NS prepared a quotation for dismantling the building by hand to prevent damage to the head stones. The quotation was accepted and forwarded to Bishop Sue Moxley for approval.

2009 -  Approval from Bishop Sue Moxley was received and on April 1st the dismantling of the building started.

Former Ministers at St. George’s

1884 – 2007

-                  Rev. James Lowey

1895                -           Rev. Robert Clark

-           Bishop Fredrick, Nova Scotia

-           Rev. D. Edwards

-           Rev. A.R.P. Williams

1899                -           Rev. Sidney H. Morgan

1901                -           Rev. W.F. Miller

1904-05           -           Rev. T. Davies

1906-08           -           Rev. Henry Cook

1909                -           Rev. E.P. Brown

1910-15           -           Rev. W. Langston

1915-16           -           Rev. A.E. Allaby

1916-20           -           Rev. L.R. Bent

1921-22           -           Rev. G.F. Kingston

1922-24           -           Rev. R.A. Miller

1924-27           -           Rev. H.H. Walsh

1927-28           -           Rev. John Furlong

1928-31           -           Rev. A.J. Bradshaw

1931-35           -           Rev. Fredrick Ryatt

1935-40           -           Rev. A.E. Kingsburry

1941-43           -           Rev. W.G. Medus

1943                -           W.M. Bishop – Ordained Deacon 1945 – Ordained Priest 1946 –                              Diocesan Archivist 1987

1944-47           -           Rev. J.E. DeWolfe

1947-55           -           Rev. Walter R. Harris

1955-56           -           Rev. C.J. Matthews

1956                -           Rev. P.C. Jefferson – Priest in Charge

1957-62           -           Rev. Andrew Pitcarin

1964-68           -           Rev. John C. Earle

1968-74           -           Rev. A. Francis Sheward

1975-76           -           Rev. Can. M. Ferguson

1978-80           -           Rev. A. Sagar

1980-85           -           Rev. Carolyn Tomlin – Deacon in Charge 1980 – Minister 1980-85

1986                -           Rev. Basil Pafford of the Parish of Seaforth intern Priest in Charge – Rev. Francess doing services

1986-93           -           Rev. David Lee

1993-03           -           Rev. Pam Bishop – arrived as a Deacon to Assist Rev. Lee and stayed on

2003-end         -           Archdeacon Tricia Ingram – arrived as a student for training under Rev. Pam – was ordained and stayed with us.

Former Wardens at St. George’s Church

1884 – 2007

John Williams                                    -

Capt. Jeffrey P. Williams       -           1944

Norman Kent                          -           1943

Hubert Williams                     -           1943-44, 1952-53, 1958-65, 1969-75

Wallace Williams                  -           1945

Leonard Williams                  -           1945-50

G. Clifford Kent                     -           1946-50, 1954-59, 1996-97

Ogle Bowser                           -           1951-54

Rolland Williams                   -           1955-57, 1959-67 (it should be noted that in 1967 Roland tried to step down as warden but no one else would take the position)

Fred Kent                                -           1966-68

Raymond Williams                -           1968-72

Murray McGregor                  -           1973-75, 1977

Sheila Marks                          -           1980-84

Charlotte Smith                      -           1980-84

Pauline Williams                    -           1983 (assistant), 1985-94

Joan McGregor (A)                -           1985, 1986-91

Mike Broomfield (A)             -           1985

Ray Truen                               -           1992-96, 1998-00

Donald Kent                           -           1995-07

Eldon Rudolph                        -           2001-07

Foot Note:  (A) two people working together as one Warden

No Wardens for 1976

No Wardens for 1978

Former Church Secretaries/Treasurers

1984 – 2007

Mrs. R. Samuel Kent (Cora )                         -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1943-44        – 2 yrs.

Margaret Faulkner                              -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1945              – 1 yr.

Mrs. Adam S. Bowser (Rita)              -           Secretary/Treasure     – 1946-79        – 33yrs

-                  in 1963 Mrs. Bowser agreed to take the position for one more year on the condition that someone else was found to take over the position the end of 1967 as she found it very difficult to continue properly

-                  in 1966 Mrs. James Marks (Sheila) was nominated but declined nominations. With no other person willing to take the position Rev. Earle asked Mrs. Bowser to continue until March 1st to give them time to interview others who may be interests.  Mrs. Bowser once again agreed.

-                  In 1967 a separate treasurer for the hall was nominated to alleviate some of the work from Mrs. Bowser.

-                  After 33 years of service as Secretary/Treasurer for St. George’s Church of Ostrea Lake, Mrs. Rita Bowser resigned due to her health

Mrs. Charlotte Smith                         -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1980-86        – 6 yrs.

Mrs. Joan McGregor                          -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1987-91        – 5 yrs

Mrs. Crystal (Burgess) Kent              -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1992-98

-           Secretary Only            – 1999-07        – 16yrs

Bill Bishop                                         -           Treasurer                    – 1999-01        – 3 yrs

Mrs. Eleanor Rudloph                                    -           Treasurer                    – 2002-07        – 6 yrs

Former Hall Secretaries/Treasures

Mr. Murray McGregor                       -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1967-68        – 1 yr

Mrs. Murray McGregor (Barbara)     -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1969-83        – 15yrs

Mrs. Charlotte Smith                         -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1984-86        – 3 yrs

Mrs. Joan McGregor                          -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1987-91        – 5 yrs

Mrs. Crystal (Burgess) Kent              -           Secretary/Treasurer    – 1992-98        – 7 yrs

Other Organization of the Church

Mens Society                          -           1910 – ??

Sunday School                        –           1945 – 1962

Sanctuary Ladies Guild                      –           1918 – 1995

Girls Auxiliary                       -           1949 – 1953     and      1957-1962

W.A. ??                                   -           1950 – 1962