Priest marks 70th anniversary

By on March 1, 2008

Canon Felix Honeygold, pictured here in the 1930s at Cow Head Mission, used snowshoes to travel his parish on Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula.

Canon Felix Honeygold recently celebrated a milestone few clerics reach – his 70th anniversary of ordination as a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Ordained on Nov. 28, 1937, Mr. Honeygold, 97, became a deacon to the Anglican parish of Port de Grave, Nfld.; he also spent seven years serving the communities on the Northern Peninsula, which includes the fishing centre of Port au Choix.

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“He often traveled by foot, carrying everything in a backpack weighing more than 40 pounds,” said The Telegram newspaper in a 2003 article about Mr. Honeygold’s 65th anniversary as a priest. Mr. Honeygold often relied on residents to provide him with lodging, it added.

He also served St. Michael and All Angels church in St. John’s as rector for 20 years until he retired in 1976 to help care for his ailing wife, Mary; she died in 1986.

Upon retirement, Mr. Honeygold began visiting the sick in hospitals and the elderly in nursing homes. “When I retired, I became his chauffeur. He wore me out,” joked his son, Peter. He told the Anglican Journal that his father often started his rounds at 1:30 p.m., and ended at 5 p.m. “He would go into the hospital admissions and look for names of those who he might know to visit them.” Mr. Honeygold pursued this ministry until a stroke in 2000 slowed him down.

But even at Saint Luke’s Homes, a retirement community at St. John’s, where he now lives, Mr. Honeygold tried to do what he could to be of service. “His room is next to what’s called the ‘quiet room,’ which is a place where those who are in their last hours get to spend time with their families, and he would go and spend some time there in prayer,” his son said.

Mr. Honeygold is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, which is awarded by the Office of the Governor General to Canadians “who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole.”

Originally from Glenfield, England, Mr. Honeygold moved to Canada in 1930, at the age of 20. He moved to St. John’s in 1932 to study at Queen’s College.

Mr. Honeygold said he decided to become a priest because “I just wanted to be useful, to serve.”

Author

  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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