Bruce Harry Rathbone Died suddenly on Friday, January 30, 2009, at the age of 76 years. For twenty years, Bruce served as Bursar of Wycliffe College. As a special tribute, two former Prinicpals of Wycliffe College here share their memories of Bruce.
From Dr. Reginald Stackhouse:
"Known and loved as 'Bruce The Bursar' by a succession of Wycliffe staff and students, the sudden passing of Bruce Harry Rathbone has come as a shock to the community he long served with an impressive combination of commitment and cheer. Whether he was helping a student organize his finances or assisting at an elaborate convocation, a smile was always part of the formula Bruce preferred. But there was more to him than his trademark smile.
Bruce's vocation in life was serving Christ and the Church, a calling that brought him to Wycliffe where he worked as bursar until his retirement. But that sense of call did not begin here. As a young man, he served the Church with a dedication that ultimately led to his becoming Dominion President of the Anglican Young People's Association.
Later he became business manager of the Canadian Churchman, for so long the national magazine of the Church. He also served as a lay delegate to diocesan, provincial and general synods of the Church, and remembering that service begins close to home, Bruce was churchwarden of his parish church, St. Timothy's, as well as singing in its choir. His whole life was an act of Christian service.
On retiring from Wycliffe, it therefore did not surprise anyone who knew him that Bruce immediately involved himself in St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital where he became president of its auxiliary and worked in the Gift Shop as a volunteer.
When a term such as 'lay ministry' is used, its meaning can be made clear just by pointing to the kind of life Bruce led."
And from Bishop Peter Mason:
"Bruce Rathbone loved Wycliffe College. While he occupied a very specific role as College Bursar (Business Manager), he embodied a mission far wider than overseer of buildings and books. He constantly engaged people in the Wycliffe community; encouraging students, chatting up alumni/ae; networking with trustees; and supporting faculty and staff.
Bruce’s devotion to Wycliffe was an expression of his love of the Anglican Church, and above all his lively faith in Jesus Christ. He seldom masqueraded his opinions of stifled his feelings. You always knew where you stood with Bruce, whether you agreed with him or not.
My most memorable experience with Bruce, during my time as Principal, was a driving trip one spring, from Toronto to Edmonton. For six weeks we crisscrossed the country, visiting Wycliffe graduates, looking for new students, connecting with Trustees and other friends of the College. Bruce preached every Sunday, handed out literature, and exuded a spirit of optimism about Wycliffe. We were both sorry when our adventure ended. And, we are sorry once more that the Longer Adventure has ended – for now.
We entrust Bruce to God’s gracious presence, and his family to our Lord’s loving care."