Hugh McKellar, a remarkable humanitarian and long-time volunteer at both the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada and the office of the diocese of Toronto, died Feb. 8 following surgery for a hip replacement.
A retired high school English teacher and librarian, McKellar was a very quiet and private man. Although his age was not known to the people he worked with at Church House, McKellar had a passion for choral music and was an expert in hymnology. He also wrote novels.
For 18 years, McKellar assisted the Anglican Journal as a volunteer in the circulation department. And at The Anglican, the newspaper of the diocese of Toronto, McKellar wrote a column on choral music and worked as a volunteer proofreader for 16 years.
“He has been a tremendous asset to the department,” says Beverley Murphy, senior manager of the communications and information resources for the Anglican Church of Canada. McKellar also had “extremely lovely penmanship,” says Murphy, and addressed the Christmas cards every year.
In addition to his work for the church, McKellar volunteered with the Children’s Aid Society, the Cancer Society, the Hadassah Bazaar and the Conservative Party of Canada, according to Murphy. He enjoyed baking and donated his desserts to the local fire and police departments as well as to his colleagues. He established the Hugh D. McKellar Fund to support the Lambton County Music Festival and St. Michael’s Cathedral Choir School by subsidizing the fees for theory exams at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. McKellar also offered his villa in Barbados to others in need and on at least one occasion, picked up the travel expenses for a cancer patient to stay there and recuperate.