Cel­e­brat­ing Fr. Greg

Fu­neral for Fr. Greg MacLeod held Sun­day at CBU

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY GREG MCNEIL CAPE BRETON POST

Peo­ple who knew the late Fr. Greg MacLeod best knew he would have ap­proved of the lively fid­dle tune that sig­nalled the be­gin­ning of the cel­e­bra­tion of his life on Sun­day.

While cel­e­brated in these parts for a life de­voted to eco­nomic devel­op­ment and com­mu­nity build­ing, those close to him also knew of his love of Cape Breton cul­ture and a good ceilidh.

As such, his

Sun­day fu­neral ser­vice was filled with

Cape Breton and Gaelic in­flu­ences, rang­ing from the fid­dle and pi­ano se­lec­tion per­formed by Brenda Stub­bert and Doug MacPhee, to the solemn “Hymn of St. Columba” that Rita Rankin sang in Gaelic.

In the homily, Fr. Dan Doucet

sug­gested MacLeod’s love of mu­sic could be traced back to the in­flu­ence of his mother.

It seems MacLeod of­ten spoke of the “friendly club”’ his mother Rose was in­volved in and Doucet sus­pected that weekly so­cial gath­er­ing was a pre­cur­sor to the house ceilidhs MacLeod would of­ten host.

Through his mother MacLeod also learned the virtue of kind­ness, while jus­tice was learned from his grand­mother. And Doucet said he was able to bring those two virtues to­gether to bring about ef­fec­tive change.

“The dif­fer­ent strengths of the two women were not lost on the young Greg,” he said.

“I be­lieve Greg rec­og­nized the need for both kinds of strengths.”

Fr. An­thony O’Con­nor noted that it was ap­pro­pri­ate to host the ser­vice at Cape Breton Univer­sity be­cause MacLeod worked tire­lessly through the years to pro­mote and de­velop the univer­sity.

Ce­cil Clarke first met MacLeod through work with BCA Hold­ings as Syd­ney Mines Re­newal was be­ing es­tab­lished in the af­ter­math of the clos­ing of Cape Breton’s coal mines.

“Greg truly loved this com­mu­nity and loved the peo­ple of this com­mu­nity,” said the mayor of the Cape Breton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“Love doesn’t al­ways mean to agree or to be ready to quickly judge, but you loved the com­mu­nity and saw all the good and that ev­ery­body could bring some­thing to the ta­ble. So­cial and eco­nomic sta­tus didn’t mat­ter. It is what you could con­trib­ute — big or small.”

Mem­ber­tou Chief Terry Paul, called MacLeod a “men­tor and a friend” who shared his life and com­mit­ted “his heart and bril­liant mind” to rais­ing the stan­dard of liv­ing for fam­i­lies across the is­land.

“Driven by a sim­i­lar pas­sion and com­mit­ment to our is­land we of­ten found our­selves in the same room to have thought­ful and mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions about the fu­ture of our is­land,” Paul said.

“I look back at those mo­ments with a deep re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion for a kind man with a true love of com­mu­nity.”

Whether you agreed or dis­agreed with what MacLeod had to say or teach, Paul be­lieves he reached his per­sonal goal to en­cour­age deep thought and in­spire oth­ers to be more.

“Hav­ing to say good­bye to­day to such a cru­cial el­e­ment of our is­land’s ar­chi­tec­ture is dif­fi­cult,” he said.

“I hope that the MacLeod fam­ily and each of us are com­forted by the knowl­edge that when you con­trib­ute to com­mu­nity the way Fr. Greg has, your en­ergy con­tin­ues on and has a last­ing in­flu­ence on many gen­er­a­tions to come.”

More cul­tural mu­sic that would have been known to MacLeod closed Sun­day’s ser­vice, in­clud­ing “Allez! Allez!” from the Aca­dian choir and fi­nally a med­ley of the reels, be­gin­ning with a num­ber known as “Fa­ther Greg’s Ceilidh Reel.”

A memo­rial mass for MacLeod will be held at Holy Fam­ily Catholic Church to­day at 11 a.m.

GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST

Pall­bear­ers bring the body of Fr. Greg MacLeod into the Canada Games Com­plex at Cape Breton Univer­sity on Sun­day to be­gin his memo­rial ser­vice. He died on May 3 at the age of 81.

MacLeod

GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRETON POST

Fac­ulty and staff of Cape Breton Univer­sity are shown en­ter­ing the Canada Games Com­plex at CBU on Sun­day. They were on hand as part of the cel­e­bra­tion of life of the Fr. Greg MacLeod who died on May 3 at the age of 81.

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