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Profiling St. John’s Priests: Reverend Canon Maurice P. Poole

Serving St. John’s from December 1964 to June 1983

The May 1983 issue of St. John’s “Parish Newsletter” reflected the sadness of the imminent retirement of Reverend Canon Maurice Poole after almost 19 years of service as Incumbent, the longest in St. John’s history. A draft of the May 1983 newsletter is all that I’ve found, with most of it dedicated to recounting Canon Poole’s time leading St. John’s. A special retirement service was planned for June 5th, in addition to several other events in his honour.

Maurice Phillip Poole was educated at St. John’s College in Winnipeg and ordained in the city’s St. Luke’s Church. Neither the 1983 article, or his obituary, mention where he was born, but it was likely in or near Winnipeg. From 1944 through 1949 Poole was based in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, Manitoba, after which he moved to Toronto to serve at St. Clement’s Anglican Church from 1949 to 1951.

He met Barbara Greey at St. Clement’s, where she taught Sunday School, and they soon married and would have three children. Barbara held a BA from Trinity College, taught at Shaw College in Toronto, and worked for the Anglican Church of Canada. She was also very active in the Girl Guide movement. In 1951, Maurice Poole was appointed Rector at All Saints Church in Peterborough, where he served until 1964, when he returned to Toronto to lead St. John’s.

Maurice Poole’s time at St. John’s began in December 1964, his ministry very much supported and supplemented by Barbara involvement with many aspects of parish life. Indeed, as her obituary noted (she died in 2015), “they shared the delights and challenges of ministry.” Many milestones in their children’s lives would be shared with St. John’s parishioners. Their eldest son, Phillip, would follow in his father’s footsteps and become an ordained minister. Maurice Poole would earn the additional title of Canon at St. James Cathedral in 1976, and he also served as Regional Dean of Toronto West.

Much could be written about the ups and downs and challenges St. John’s experienced during Canon Poole’s tenure, but it was clear that a major highlight was his leading, with Barbara, St. John’s centennial celebration as a parish in 1981. As was noted in the 1983 newsletter, “Who could forget the excitement and the spirit with which Maurice and Barbara entered into the activities – including dressing up in costumes of 100 years ago and driving with Archbishop Garnsworthy in a horse-drawn buggy!”

During his retirement, Canon Poole assisted at St. Thomas’ Bracebridge, St. Paul’s Lorne Park, and at St. Bride’s Clarkson. He also spent his summers in Muskoka where he led an annual “Service in the Bay” at Browning Island. He passed away peacefully in his Oakville home on October 12, 2004, in his 84th year.



Peacefully at home in Oakville, on Tuesday, October 12, 2004 in his 84th year.

Loving husband of Barbara Poole (Greey) for 55 years. Loving father of The Reverend Canon Philip Poole (Karen) of Aurora, Mary Siemiesz (Bruno) of Oakville, David Poole (Suzanne) of Mississauga. Proud Grampie of Michael and Christopher, Megan and Bridget and Iris. Loving brother of Reginald Arthur Poole (Doreen) of Vancouver. Dear uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1945 at St. Luke's Church, Winnipeg. Lovingly, he ministered to Christ's people for 59 years. The many parishes where he served include St. Mary's Charleswood, Holy Trinity Headingly, St. Clement's Eglinton, Toronto, All Saint's Peterborough, St. John's West Toronto.

He served in many roles during his ministry including Rural Dean of Peterborough, Regional Dean of West Toronto, Bishop's Domestic Chaplain, Executive Committee of the Dioceses of Toronto, Canon of St. James' Cathedral, Toronto. During retirement he assisted at the Church of St. Bride, Clarkson and St. Thomas' Bracebridge. Spent many happy summers in Muskoka where he led his annual 'Service in the Bay' at Browning Island.

A service of celebration and thanksgiving of Maurice's life will be held at St. James' Cathedral, 65 Church Street (at King Street), Toronto on Monday, October 18, at 11:00 a.m. Reception following the service. The family will receive friends at Turner & Porter Peel Chapel, 2180 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 ¬ 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 ¬ 9:00 p.m.

If desired, expressions of sympathy may be made to the Parkinson Society of Canada, Trinity Church Aurora or the Church of St. Bride, Clarkson. Special thanks to our Sunrise family of Oakville for their loving support and excellent care.

'Well done, good and faithful servant' Matt 25:21

Published by The Globe and Mail from Oct. 15 to Oct. 16, 2004.



Confident in the faith of Jesus Christ which sustained her in this life, Barbara Poole entered into eternal rest on March 28, 2015. Our mother was born October 2, 1920 into the loving family of Allan and Mary Greey she adored. With her younger sisters Suzanne (deceased 1996) and Lucille (Ralph Tulloch), she was nurtured in the Christian faith at St. Clement's Anglican Church, Toronto, where she taught Sunday school and was active in the Girl Guide Movement as a member and a leader. Mom was a proud Clementine, never missing an opportunity to tell us how fortunate she was to attend St. Clement's School. Later she would gain a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College, University of Toronto, at a time when few women pursued post-secondary education. Barbara taught at Shaw College in Toronto and worked for the Anglican Church of Canada at Church House in the area of mission. The summers of her youth were spent at Greeycroft, the family cottage on Lake Muskoka. Mom loved Muskoka, the water, canoeing and sailing, but above all the joy the cottage brought to her family. Barbara met and married a clergyman, The Reverend Canon Maurice Poole (deceased 2004), who had come to St. Clement's from Winnipeg and they shared the delights and challenges of ministry. She helped to lead a bible study from their cramped second floor apartment they referred to as the Upper Room and handled all the duties thrown at ministers' wives in those days. Later they would serve together at All Saints' Peterborough, St. John's West Toronto and in retirement assisted at St. Thomas' Bracebridge, St. Paul's Lorne Park and St. Bride's Clarkson. They enjoyed travel, the Probus Club and their ongoing relationship with Invitation to Live Crusades. Wherever she went, Mom displayed a gracious love of people, a compelling humility, a warm smile, infectious humour and a passion for sharing her faith. Mom loved the world of the arts, was an accomplished painter, pianist, ceramics creator, guitarist and musician. She was also a formidable competitor during family game nights. She wrote Bible Studies, a book of poetry, hymns and at the insistence of her family an autobiography. Her life impacted so many people of every walk of life, always putting others first. She spoke with pride of meeting the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace and always had a sandwich for those in need who knocked on the rectory door. Mom's influence touched her son Philip, his wife Karen and their children Michael (Lisa) and Christopher (Carly); her daughter Mary (Bruno Siemiesz) and son David (the late Suzanne Rooke) and his children Megan, Iris (Stuart Kingston) and Bridget and her great- grandchildren Verity Poole and Eilidh and Eamon Kingston. She adored her extended family, her cousins, her nephews and nieces. Barbara lived for her Lord and her family. Mom resided at Sunrise Assisted Living in Oakville for the past 13 years and was so grateful for the love and care she received. A heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful, dedicated caregivers, especially those who brought comfort to her in her last weeks.

Visitation at Turner & Porter Peel Chapel, 2180 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Celebration of her Life will take place on Thursday, April 2nd at 11 a.m. at St. Bride's Anglican Church, 1516 Clarkson Road Mississauga, Ontario L5J 2W9. Mom left strict instructions that it was to be a celebration of faith in Jesus Christ. Mom practiced Christian Stewardship and took seriously her charitable giving. If you wish, she would be pleased if you made a gift to St. Bride's Anglican Church, Clarkson, the church which cared for her for the past two decades or FaithWorks, an outreach ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Thank you Mom xox "May Christ give her rest in the land of the living and open for her the gates of paradise, may He receive her as a citizen of the Kingdom and grant her forgiveness of her sins: for she was His friend."


Originally published in St. John's Newsletter on February 5th, 2023

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