Dick Hunt's Blog

August 9, 2013

June 1, 2013 A Universty Dean Who Became a Bishop.

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 6:43 pm

A Universty Dean Who Became a Bishop.
by Dick Hunt, June 1st,  2013.
And his name was Ralph Dean.  I first met him when Bishop Calvert arranged a meeting with him in January, 1952 to discuss my desire to study for Ordination to the Anglican Ministry.  We hit it off  very warmly and set things in motion for me to move from Agriculture to Christian Ministry, with Ruth and our family.  Sometime after I was immersed in studies in Emmanuel College in Saskatoon, I was walking down a corridor past the open door of one of the Professors, Jack Fife, when he asked me to come in to discuss a paper I had written.  He asked me where I had found the material in my essay and I said, “Sir, the Bibliography is on the back page.”  He said, “oh I have read all those books but you have gone well beyond all those.”  I told him “I have always been a voracious reader”.  At that he began to laugh.  I asked him what was funny.   He said he had just remembered what Ralph Dean had said when he returned after our Calgary discussion.  I asked him how his talks had gone at the Cathedral that Easter Week. He said they had gone well but the highlight of his trip was that “he had arranged for this young Rancher to start his training in the fall and he was excited about that”.  My years at Emmanuel were most fulfilling and just as I was leaving to be Ordained in Calgary, Ralph Dean had been elected Bishop of Cariboo in B.C. . After I had been in the Parish of St. George in Stettler Alberta for seven years, Bishop Dean asked me to move to St.Peter’s  Williams Lake where we stayed for 9 years.  During that time, he was elected Archbishop of B.C. & Yukon.
He was then appointed to represent the entire Anglican Communion as Secretary General and served valiantly for five years in that position. He travelled all over the world and associated with people of all denomonations, but chiefly Anglicans. When he returned to again live in Canada, he had been profoundly moved by his association with the Christians in Africa and Asia, who against great odds were seeing marvellous growth in numbers through Conversion and high birthrate. That growth continues in spite of the enmity and violence of  Islam and the violent deaths of many Christians. I was present at General Synod in Ottawa when he made his final report at General Synod and he upset many people by calling for a return to Biblical standards of Belief, Faith and Ministry to replace trying to please  secular society which was writing off the Churches in the “developed world” as being old fashioned and beneath the notice of “intelligent moderns who have outgrown all that stuff”. I was obvously one of the minority at that meeting who strongly approved of his challenges.

He had resigned as Archbishop of B.C. and the Yukon and was then invited to move to Greenville North Carolina to a combined University of the Episcopal Church  and large public school (Anglican), as the Theologian and Professor and from then on he and his wife disappeared from my radar.  I did receive a report that he had passed away  from a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, which is certainly no respecter of persons.  So ended a brilliant career, which had begun as Dean of  London University  in England. He was possesed of instant sight reading.

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