Mohawks honour retired bishop, wife

Published December 1, 1999

Retired bishop Allan A. Read of the Diocese of Ontario and his wife Beverly have been effectively adopted into the Mohawk Nation, reports their daughter-in-law Jenny Read.

The couple was presented with Mohawk names by the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte at a service conducted in both Mohawk and English at Christ Church, Tyendinaga, Ont.

Before the Sept. 19 naming ceremony, Donald Maracle, the current Chief of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, reflected on how his people’s traditional beliefs in peace, democracy, and the existence of good and evil forces made it easy for them to accept Christianity in the early 1700s. The Creator of Mohawk tradition and the God of Christianity are one and the same, he said. God created many different cultures, traditions and languages.

Occasionally, Chief Maracle said, there were “people who had come amongst us and touched our hearts and become like family” ? and they were given Mohawk names. The giving of a Mohawk name is “the greatest honour our nation can give.”

The Chief described Bishop Read’s recognition of the Mohawk people’s contribution to the history and life of the Diocese of Ontario.

Bishop and Mrs. Read were presented with plaques commending them for “demonstrat(ing) much grace, dignity, kindness, gentleness, humour, love and respect for the Mohawk people’s history, culture, language and traditions.”


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