Cowichan Coffee Time: Starting out and wrapping up

France Kelsey School has announced the recipient of the 2016/17 Governor General’s Academic Medal

Reverend Murray Groom has retired after 20 years at Sylvan United Church. (submitted)

• In our Friday, Jan. 26 edition we incorrectly identified the recipient of the David Williams, Q.C. and Donald Taylor, Q.C. Memorial Bursary. She is Lisa Harder.

• France Kelsey Secondary School has announced the recipient of the 2016/17 Governor General’s Academic Medal: Kyjauna Marhsall.

The Academic Medal recognizes outstanding academic achievement and is awarded annually to the student graduating with the highest average. Marshall is in her first year of the engineering program at McGill University in Montreal.

• The Reverend Doctor Murray Groom has retired after over 20 years of service to the Sylvan United Church in Mill Bay.

Groom arrived at a time when the previous congregations of Mill Bay and Shawnigan Lake United Churches were merging into a single unit, searching for a site for a new sanctuary to accommodate the growing number of attendees. His past experience in Manitoba and Victoria assisted in his guidance as fundraising proceeded, a site was found, and the building of the Sylvan church proceeded, worship being conducted meanwhile in the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre.

Outreach has always been an important function of Sylvan church, including support of the local food bank, of refugees, and of orphans in Honduras. Groom’s personal outreach has touched many people in the community with his empathy and prayerful guidance, his church said. His education included a Master of Divinity at University of Saskatchewan, a Doctorate in Ministry at St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton, and a Diploma in Humanities at University of Victoria. His interest in Celtic spirituality led him in pilgrimages to Glastonbury, Iona and Lindisfarne in Britain as well as to Jerusalem and Rome. Groom gave his talents to young and old, attended to joys and sorrows, and established a relationship valued by all.

“We wish him and his family well,” the church says.

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