Cathedral Faces – Elaine Lucas

A native of Sackville, New Brunswick, our own Canon Elaine Lucas, is a well travelled lady with a sense of adventure, and wonderful stories to tell.

She says she got used to moving about because her father was with the CN railway, and the family lived in Sackville, Blackville, Moncton and Aulac, New Brunswick. Her mother died when she was only seven years old, so she was raised with the help of a father, stepmother, and both sets of grandparents.

Elaine was educated in public schools in NB, graduating in 1941.  A diploma from Mount Allison Commercial College in 1941, was eventually followed by a Bachelor of Arts from the same university in 1951, a Licentiate in Theology from Wycliffe College in 1954, and an Honour Diploma from the Anglican Women’s Training College in 1954.

She had visions of becoming a missionary in India.  However, permission to go to India was denied and she ended up in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, in the diocese of Caledonia from 1958-1962. There she travelled in an old second hand car between Prince Rupert and Prince George to work with young women and the poor, setting up programs such as Junior Auxiliary, (JA) and Girls’ Auxiliary (GA), became Leader of Diocesan Church camps (with tents) for young people. A stint as a Canadian Indian Worker in Toronto followed for a year.

Then she was ready for a sabbatical! That took her to Christ Church College at the University of Oxford in England. While at Oxford she had the opportunity to sit in on classes that interested her, for three terms, and to travel extensively throughout England, and Europe. She mentions spending Christmas with her Bulmer relatives in France and visiting Holland to see the tulip bulbs in bloom. Her Aunt travelled some of the time with her, and together they came back to Canada via ship.

The transition back to Canada was difficult, with no job. She had a fellow classmate from college days,  Gordon Baker, rector of a busy church in London, Ontario and became very active in that congregation. While in London, she worked as an assistant Executive Director with the Canadian Mental Health Association, and employee and then Advertising Manager at Zip-Penn Co. Ltd. Elaine also worked as a volunteer in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, as member and past president of Warner Place Seniors’ Residence, past president and member of the Board of Directors, LIFT Non Profit Housing of London Inc., member and later Chair of the London Innercity Faith Council, and member of various committees of the Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church.

This busy lady became self-employed, with Elaine Lucas Associates, and was a CASE Counsellor with the Federal Business Development Bank, in London.

There is still an apartment building in downtown London, Ontario, named the Elaine Lucas Place.

Elaine was married briefly (for five years), but unfortunately it did not last, and Elaine still has difficulty talking about it and its rarely discussed.

While in London, she was ordained Deacon and Priest in 1996, and became Assistant Priest at Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church, 1996-1998.

She then felt the need to return to her roots in New Brunswick. Her first choice would have been Sackville, but she tells of sitting in a chair and asking “Where should I go?” Then she says a voice, just as clear as anything, told her to “go to Fredericton,” so she did!  With a friend, she drove the long drive from London to Fredericton, to find a place to live.  Interestingly, her contact here was our former Cathedral office secretary, Mary Jarratt, who had been at Mount Allison with her. They had taken courses together, and so she stayed with her friend while she decided on where to live. She moved here in the Spring of 1998, when Bill Hockin was Dean of Fredericton. Elaine became Honorary Assistant at the Cathedral, assisting in many ways, often presiding at  Wednesday morning Eucharist.  She was appointed  Canon of Christ Church Cathedral in 2003, and continued as Pastoral Assistant.

Due to health issues with the onset of Parkinson’s Disease, Elaine moved to Farraline Home on Queen Street, where she made many friends. She loved the gardens, and we would often see her walking in the neighbourhood as well as across the Bill Thorpe walking bridge. She was not one to sit idly.

More recently, as symptoms of Parkinson’s have progressed, it became necessary to move to Pine Grove Nursing Home, where she is at present. Elaine  participates in the many activities there. One day she was observed decorating a gingerbread house and doing a splendid job! On another, she was participating in a handbell choir, directed by Verna Hayward. She really enjoys that.

Elaine continues to take an active interest in Cathedral activities and asks about various people in the congregation, and how they are.

Elaine’s Christian witness is as effective as ever continuing to be a most caring individual. We all wish her well.

Marilyn Lewell


3 thoughts on “Cathedral Faces – Elaine Lucas

  1. I had the honour of working with Elaine (and the word “honour” is a very appropriate word!)while she was on staff. She is a much loved member of the cathedral family and rightly so. Thank you, Marilyn for the story you wrote.

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