Winnipeg Free Press
REV. RODERICK ALEXANDER MACAULAY July 17, 1924 - January 29, 2013 In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. (A New Creed - the United Church of Canada) Peacefully following a long illness, and with family by his side, Rod passed from the House of God where he ministered for many years to the presence of God. Rod was born at home in Glace Bay, NS to Annie (nee Kerr) and John Neil MacAulay. He was predeceased by his parents, his siblings Kerr (Florence), Mary (Robert), Phyllis, and John (Blanche). Lovingly remembered by his wife and soulmate of 61 years, Evelyn (nee Taylor), eldest daughter Lynda Stephenson (Keith) of Calgary, and triplets Gail MacAulay (Kevin Rollason) of Winnipeg, Phyllis Thordarson (Philip) of Langruth, and Janice Jones (Mark) of Jourdanton, TX; grandchildren Mercedes Stephenson of Ottawa, Sarah and Mary Rollason-MacAulay of Winnipeg, Heather Jordan (Tyler) of Banff, Theresa and Rod Thordarson of Langruth, Richard Jones (Meagan) of Austin, TX, Neil Jones (Dallas) of Corpus Christi, TX, Paul Jones of Pleasanton, TX, and Sean Jones of Chicago, IL, and great-grandchildren Gideon and Greta Jones and Micaiah Jones. He was a proud Cape Bretoner who believed in the equality of all before the eyes of God. He graduated from Glace Bay High School before he turned 18 and enlisted into the Royal Canadian Navy at HMCS Stadacona in Halifax in 1942. He served in the navy during the Second World War as a signalman on ships including the HMCS Nene. After seeing the atrocities of war and what humans could do to each other, he thought the only answer for humanity was the love of God. With that as his mission, he went on to attend Dalhousie University, where he received his BA and became a founding member of the Anti-Fraternity Society, before going to the United Church of Canada's Pine Hill Divinity Hall where he received his divinity degree. He served in student mission fields before becoming ordained into the United Church in 1950. At his last mission field in Pincher Creek, AB, he met the love of his life, Evelyn. He always said he went through flood, fire and blizzard to get from Nova Scotia to Alberta to propose to her and they got married in 1951. He lived in Port Mouton, NS while ministering in a five point charge from 1950 to 1955, before becoming the minister in Coleman / Crowsnest Pass, AB from 1955 to 1960. He said his first two ministries were in beautiful areas - one with seaside the other with mountains - but it was the service he did during the next 30 years in the inner city which became his life's work. He was minister of St. Giles United Church in Winnipeg, and followed in the footsteps of Rev. J. S. Woodsworth as superintendent of Stella All People's Church, where he also set up a Young People's Church, and All People's Sutherland Mission. During those years he pushed for many reforms and projects including opening an Indian and Metis reception lodge on Selkirk Avenue, overseeing the formation of a committee to help people with legal problems long before Legal Aid was created, and creating a mission athletics team so children who wouldn't normally be able to participate could. He continued his inner city work at Brunswick United Church in Halifax from 1969 to 1990, where he led the rebuilding of the historic church after it burned to the ground and also worked with the homeless. He temporarily came out of retirement to serve as minister of United Memorial in Halifax before retiring for a final time the following year. When Rod retired, the Halifax Presbytery presented him with a plaque thanking him for his years of ministry service across the nation. It said in part that in Winnipeg and Halifax he has earned a legendary reputation as a voice of the voiceless, champion of the underdog, and advocate of justice and equity. In ecclesiastical and civil courts he has been a faithful defender of individual rights, democracy and human dignity. Few have walked so tirelessly where he has walked. Few have faced so faithfully what he has faced. Few have been more dedicated to our Lord's mandate. Rod and Evelyn moved out to Pincher Creek in 1993, but they continued to return each summer to their beloved cottage in Portuguese Cove facing the Atlantic Ocean each summer until a few years ago. He baptized so many children from the area that he was affectionately called by one local the Bishop of Portuguese Cove . Outside of church, Rod's favourite hobby was using a camera and developing photos. One of his photos of the triplets was entered into a contest and won the grand prize - which paid for nine pairs of shoes for the triplets. He wrote and published the book All God's Children in 2002, a history of his time in Winnipeg and Halifax, which was a bestseller at Winnipeg's McNally Robinson Booksellers and where his family was proud to see him speak at book launches here and in Calgary. He said at the time All inner cities are the same. The people there are some of the finest in the world, but there are all kinds of people who have fallen through the cracks... they're just as good as anyone else. We're all God's children, we're all worthy of love. Throughout his life he was a fierce advocate and seeker of justice for the poor and underprivileged in the inner city. He was kind, compassionate, had a wonderful sense of humour, and was the best father and grandfather in the world.
Also, the uncle of Bill (Joanne) Macaulay.