Former pastor, chaplain John Ferrier passes at 75 years

A longtime Weyburn pastor and chaplain, Rev. John Ferrier, died of a heart attack on Dec. 21 at the age of 75 years.

Known for his booming voice and broad smile, he was familiar to many residents as he led the Remembrance Day ceremonies for many years, along with giving messages at the schools as he accompanied the Legion Colour Guard.

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Born on June 12, 1943, in Preston, Ont. (now Cambridge), Ferrier graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1974, and after he was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church, he served in Chauvin and Wainwright, Alta., before coming to Knox Presbyterian Church in Weyburn in June of 1979, and remained serving there until he retired in April of 2006.

In the community, he served as chaplain to the Weyburn branch of the Royal Canadian Legion since 1980, was a voluntary chaplain to the RCMP in 1992, and for the Weyburn Fire Department in 2003.

In an interview with the Weyburn Review at his retirement, he noted that some of the best moments of his ministry was when individuals and families from the community called on him, whether they attended Knox Presbyterian or not.

“In equal parts I enjoy the Sunday morning services, and the pastoral part of it, and when people invite me to be a part of their family celebrations. I hate paper work and the administrative part of it. Some pastors are good at that, but I’m sure not one of them,” he said in the interview.

When he was asked about his retirement plans, he said aside from visiting family in Ontario, he planned on staying in Weyburn.

“I’ve made some wonderful friends here over the years … I would say thank you to the whole community, because Weyburn has become a great home,” he said.

The Weyburn Legion gave Ferrier a Meritorious Life Membership, he was an honourary member of the Chauvin Legion, and he was honoured with the Golden Spike Award by the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce for his service to the community in 2003.

Within the Presbyterian church, he served a term as moderator of the Presbytery of Edmonton, a term as moderator of the Presbytery of Assiniboia, as a clerk of the Presbytery of Assiniboia for eight years, and as moderator of the Synod of Saskatchewan.

A funeral service was held on Dec. 29 at Knox Presbyterian, and a lunch was held afterward at the Legion Hall. Interment will be held at a later date.