By Ian Oldaker, Rector’s Warden
It is time to commend one of our own: Grant Johnston, recipient of the Order of Niagara for 2004. Created in 2000 by Bishop Ralph Spence, the Order of Niagara honours laity in the Diocese of Niagara for their exceptional work and selfless giving to the parish, diocese and the Church. St. George’s only previous recipient is Janet Armstrong, named in 2000 to the Order.
The Service of Institution will be held Sunday, September 19 at 4 pm in Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton , with a reception to follow at 7:00 pm here at St. George’s . We all extend our hearty congratulations to Grant and thank him for all his work over the years.
Grant is a tireless worker for the betterment of all those who come into contact with him. He is a quiet yet very focused person, sincere in all he does. He thanks the Lord that he can do all these things.
All these things include being a participant in the very first Cursillo Movement in the Niagara Diocese in 1983. He has been a strong supporter ever since, being very involved on the organizing team until about 1995. Grant also was the chairperson on the Post-Cursillo Committee and has arranged reunions, regional and diocesan meetings. He is still involved in the local Georgetown and Milton areas.
Arriving at St. George’s back in 1961, it is not surprising that Grant has attended many Vestry meetings. In fact he has missed only one since then, because he was sick! He recalls that a lot of volunteer work was done to upkeep the church at that time, and he is glad to see the current work on the property and grounds. He enjoyed serving as People’s Warden for two years when he also served as treasurer, and he has served on the Newcomers’ as well as the Worship and Property committees. Grant says he firmly believes the Holy Spirit is directing him in all he does and is thankful for this.
Grant served as an Area Captain and volunteer driver for the Canadian Cancer Society. When the local C.C.S. closed their office recently in Georgetown , he continued with C.A.S.H.H. Grant also offered outstanding ministry for years to “The Bridge,” the link between local churches and people incarcerated in local prisons, including those who had served their sentences and were in the process of being integrated back into the community. He acted as treasurer for the local group and on several occasions met men as they left the prison and drove them home or to a bus station. I know that he and his late wife Betty opened up their home for several Christmas parties with prisoners, ex-prisoners and members of local churches, at which presents were distributed to men, women and their families at home. At a party at Daisy Dunlop’s he said there was so much smoke!
The Thursday Morning Eucharist Group counts Grant as a regular participant and is often entertained by recollections from him of times gone by. Grant lives with his wife Dorothy in Glen Williams and as if his garden there is not large enough already, he enjoys an extra plot on a farm on Winston Churchill Boulevard . We are all very proud of you Grant and we are sure you will wear the Order with pride.