We were saddened to learn of the recent death of George W. Earle, father of GCI-USA pastor and GCS instructor Neil Earle. Here are excerpts from an article that Neil wrote in his father’s honor. It appeared in “Anglican Life”—a magazine of the Anglican church in Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada.
George W. Earle was my father. So this I know: He was in his glory on the open water. He began to build boats in the 1980s to the tune of one a year which led to him and his best friend, Eph Laing, plying the waters around Carbonear and Bristol’s Hope in search of the wily cod. He began his working life as a stationer on the Labrador coast with his father Thomas J. Earle who has the distinction of being buried nearest the steps on the south entrance to St. James Anglican [church]. Yes, close to the action!
George would recall many stories of small-town life and the impact of being part of that Anglican parish. At St. James Anglican he came early under the tutelage of the near-legendary cleric, Canon E. E. Rusted, who was spoken of in respectful terms when I was growing up. Once, when praying with Dad a few years ago, he confessed that, even though not a regular attendee, he recited the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed every night before he went to bed.
George came into his own as a fisherman. In 1949 he jigged the largest codfish ever caught by hook and line… it measured 5’ 11 ½” and weighed 157 pounds. He had the picture to prove it and distributed copies to most people he met in later years. No wonder. The record stood for 50 years.
George had spurts of church attendance in the 1950s but for complicated reasons began to drift away from regular meetings. Yet the St. James drama team and the Roman Catholic neighbors at St. Clare’s School had no hesitation for enlisting him in their many “Christmas Concerts” in the 1950s, a staple of the decades before “Entertainment Tonight.” One of my father’s prized possessions was a certificate from the local Catholic prelate thanking him for his artistic services in the 1940s and 1950s.
The tributes that poured in to celebrate my father’s life as mayor, honorary fireman, Lion’s Club executive secretary, hospital board member in October, 2014 rightly cited his contributions to the town—a “Carbonear legend,” he was called—but his quiet Anglicanism obviously shaped his early life and lived on till the end of his days. An Anglican in deed.
Cards may be sent to:Neil Earle 1643 Calle Coronado
Duarte, CA 91010-2575