Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 12, 2006
Actor cornered into being historian
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Two years ago, amateur thespian Ian McQuarrie had just finished playing a round of golf with Father Don Stein when the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish asked the smiling Scot if he liked acting.
While changing his footwear at his car in the parking lot, McQuarrie said he did.
"Good. Then you can act as the parish's centennial committee chair," Stein told him.
"Father Don had mentioned he would like someone from the parish to be chair of the committee, but I didn't bite," said McQuarrie, 74. "We played the round and at the car he asked again. There was no getting out of it."
A retired Red Deer realtor, McQuarrie has spent a considerable amount of time the last two years researching and cataloguing the life of the parish since Father Henri Voisin - a Tinchebray priest - supervised construction of the first church in 1905. Bishop Emile Legal blessed the church in 1906, dedicating it to the Sacred Heart. Voisin was appointed its first pastor.
"When I started, I couldn't find anything. There were no records. Some had burned in the fire (1990) and some things just were not kept," McQuarrie said. "But I had decided I would like to see something to pass on. And once I got into it, I was pretty excited. I've enjoyed doing it."
McQuarrie scoured through local archives and newspapers. He contacted numerous priests and women religious and borrowed their history books. He also used the Internet.
With seven other committee members, an impressive binder has been prepared of historical data and photographs to coincide with a large centennial celebration and Mass planned for June 10.
One copy will be kept at the church. Another will be kept locally with Red Deer archives. A third will be preserved in the Edmonton Archdiocese's archives at the Catholic Pastoral Centre.
The committee has also drafted numerous pages for publication of a book about the parish. McQuarrie was hoping to have it available for sale in time for the centennial weekend.
"I was very fortunate to have had an excellent team. Everyone was cooperative and faithful in terms of attending meetings," McQuarrie said.
"The Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Women's League and many parishioners have been a great help," McQuarrie said.