It is with great sadness that we pass along the news of the death of The Reverend Canon Henry (‘Harry’) Morrow. Although confined to a wheelchair the last couple of years, Harry maintained a busy social calendar, which included attendance at clericus last Thursday and participation in the 10:30 service at the Cathedral on Sunday. He was taken to hospital on Wednesday and his daughter and son-in-law flew in from Thunder Bay yesterday. He died early this morning at the age of 95.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, of Irish parents, Harry had a life-long attachment to the church, from Sunday School through the Anglican Young Peoples’ Association. He was skilled with his hands and mastered a number of industrial arts, eventually taking a labourer’s position with Proctor and Gamble. It was there that he sensed a call to pastoral ministry and, with the encouragement of The Rev. A.F. Holmes, sought work with the Indian School Administration. The winter of 1947 found him in the Gordon’s Residential School in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, but he was soon transferred to the Shingwauk Residential School in Sault Ste Marie as the Manual Arts Instructor. In 1949, a young lady from Coaticook, Quebec, came on staff as the Sewing Matron. Harry and Edith were married in Verdun, Quebec in 1950.
Conversations with the Bishop of Algoma led Harry to studies at Montreal Diocesan Theological College, where he graduated in 1955 with a Licentiate in Theology. Archbishop William Wright made him Deacon, along with Les Peterson, on Ascension Day 1954, at St Paul’s, Haileybury. The two enjoyed a close friendship throughout their careers, with Harry being appointed Canon Domestic Chaplain to Bishop Peterson in the early 1980s.
Harry went on to be ordained Priest in 1955 and took up a post as Assistant Curate of the Church of the Epiphany in Sudbury. While at Epiphany, Harry undertook to establish a congregation in New Sudbury. From a core of faithful people meeting in a school room, the Church of the Ascension was established, and Harry served as their Incumbent from 1957-1961. In 1961 he became the Incumbent of St Matthew’s and Church of the Epiphany (now defunct) in Sault Ste Marie. In 1969 he moved to St John’s Church in New Liskeard for a four-year incumbency before taking his last parish, St John’s, Thunder Bay, where he was for ten years, retiring in 1983.
Returning to the Sault, Canon Morrow was made an Honorary Assistant at St Luke’s Cathedral in 1987. Here he was active both in the church and the community. He was President of the Kiwanis Club and named Kiwanian of the Year in 1992. He was an avid gardener and, until he was moved into a care facility, kept up his woodworking skills. Visitors to the Cathedral can admire his handiwork in a number of artefacts, but he was particularly proud of the Canterbury Cross that hangs in the Chapel. For many years, he worked to maintain and beautify the Shingwauk Cemetery where his mother, Annie, is buried. Moreover, he and Edith were steady supporters of the music ministry in the Cathedral, and in the diocese they established ‘The Morrow Fund’, which provides assistance to theological students.
Harry’s quiet faithfulness over the last 55 years of active and retired service makes his ministry hard to measure. Part of his legacy includes the photographic and written records of his time serving in the residential schools, which comprise a valuable part of the Shingwauk Project holdings at Algoma University. They reveal a pastor who was deeply committed to the welfare of First Nations people, and he resisted the government’s assimilationist policies. But perhaps Harry’s greatest legacy is the lives he touched through his friendliness, kindness, care and prayer. He will be greatly missed by a host of dedicated and loyal colleagues, friends and family all across the diocese.
Harry was predeceased by Edith in 2005, and his ashes will rest with hers in the St Luke’s Columbarium. He is survived by his daughter, Mary (David) and son, Kevin. A Funeral with Eucharist will be held at St Luke’s Cathedral on Tuesday, 1 p.m., with a eulogy by The Rev. Bob Elkin and homily by The Very Rev’d Jim McShane. Bishop Andrews will officiate. A reception will follow. Clergy are invited to robe and process. The colour is white. Those wishing to make donations in Harry’s memory may wish to consider St Luke’s Cathedral, The Diocese of Algoma’s Morrow Fund, or the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.