50 years and counting
Trinity hosting anniversary celebration for popular minister
An occasional good- natured jab from random hockey fans never stood in the way of Rev. Arthur Nash’s profound love of a community he called home for more than 13 years.
The popular minister arrived at Trinity Anglican Church in Sydney Mines in 1976 and immersed himself in the community, including through service as a hockey referee and a member of the minor hockey executive.
“It gave them something to boo me about sometimes,” joked Nash, who is marking his 55th anniversary as a minister this year.
Born in Glace Bay, he was raised by an aunt and uncle in Louisbourg after his father died when he was just five. He had only discovered the church at his baptism but knew at that moment where his life would take him.
“I had never been inside a church before,” he recalled. “I was baptized when I was five years old and I knew from that day on that I was called to be a priest and I never ever wanted to do anything else.”
After finishing school in Louisbourg he studied in Toronto and then the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in Saskatchewan.
It was in Toronto where he met his wife Emily, a native of Ireland, who had moved to Ontario with her sister.
“For me it was love at first sight. Emily had to be wooed,” he said with a laugh during an interview at their scenic summer getaway near the Seal Island Bridge.
“One has to be cautious,” she added with a wry smile during the interview.
The two have been married 50 years and their anniversary will be part of Saturday’s activities at Trinity Anglican Church because Nash is per- forming a wedding ceremony next week, the day after his actual anniversary date.
After they married, almost 50 years ago, the two lived in Manitoba for eight years where he was ordained. When they returned to Nova Scotia they spent three years in Lockeport, before his 13- plus years in Sydney Mines.
Waverly and Upper Tantallon are also among the Nova Scotia stops where he is proud to have been part of construction of new churches in those communities.
Though he retired in 2000, he still summers in Cape Breton and fills in often at Trinity Church in Sydney Mines while he is on the island.
“I’ve gone back a couple of times to do their Sunday service and I also help out at St. Nicholas Church in Upper Tantallon. I take services and occasionally will preach. I’m fairly active for somebody who is 75.”
He’s also been named the rector emeritus of Trinity and a colourful window was installed in the church entrance as a tribute to his family’s contribution to the church. Nash remains immensely honoured by both moves.
Today’s celebration is set for 2- 4 p. m. at Trinity in Sydney Mines.
Originally, just a quiet anniversary was planned before members of the local church asked to host something more.
“They talked to Emily several times and told her you have to let us do this. Emily wanted a quiet celebration more than I did but they insisted we do something and we settled on a date.”
Refreshments and conversation are his expectation for the event.
The two also plan a quiet celebration after he performs that wedding ceremony next week in Baddeck.
Reverend Arthur Nash and his wife Emily stand in their summer front yard at the KOA campground near the Seal Island Bridge. He is marking his 55th year in the church and the couple their 50th year in marriage this year.
This is Trinity Church in Sydney Mines where Rev. Arthur Nash has served for more than 13 years.