Event Date : Friday, December 20, 1963
Event Type : Death
Description : Rev. F. G. MacTavish passed away in York County Hospital, Newmarket, on December 20, 1963, following two days of illness. He was suddenly stricken late Tuesday evening while chatting in his home and immediately lost consciousness, remaining unconscious to the last. Mr. MacTavish was born at Ripley, Ontario, and attended public and high school in that village. At the age of 18 he enlisted for military service during the First Great War and served in Canada and Siberia. Returning after the war he entered Victoria College to study for the ministry. On April 28, 1921, at Creswell, Ontario, he married Mary Annetta MacDonald of Toronto. Upon graduation from Victoria College the first church appointments given Mr. MacTavish were to missions in north-eastern Ontario, first at Wilberforce and then at Apsley. His next churches were Hallowell Circuit, Prince Edward County, then Northport and Seymour Circuit, Campbellford. Omemee and Sunderland followed before he came to Bradford on June 28, 1944, bringing with him his wife and family, his daughter Jean, and two sons, Harold and Gerald. Mr. MacTavish's interest in and knowledge of, the people of this district, those associated with his church and those without church affiliation, had grown through the years and his kindly understanding of human frailties, made him a sympathetic friend to all in trouble, and only by accident did anyone learn of the many, many services he rendered, far beyond the call of his duty as minister to the United Churches in Bradford and Holland Landing. The sick, the poor, the aged, the neglected and even those who might be regarded as rather disreputable, if they needed a minister, could depend upon Mr. MacTavish to answer their need. He was a tireless worker for the church, attending to much of its business personally. He was the instigator of the movement which resulted in the complete renovation of the church building, of which he was so proud and which he watched over personally, checking carefully after all meetings. Mr. MacTavish was a minister whose ministry only began in the pulpit and the boundaries of whose church were only limited by the needs of people. Mr. MacTavish is survived by his wife; his daughter, Miss Jean and son Harold, both of Toronto; his son Gerald and his wife, Helen, of Bradford, and three grandchildren, Jean, Marilyn and Betty, of Bradford; also three brothers, Rev. Duncan MacTavish of London, Ont., Mr. James MacTavish of Lucknow, Ont., and Mr. Alex MacTavish of Ripley, Ont., and three sisters, Mrs. H.
Street (Elizabeth) of Kincardine, Mrs. A. H. Johnston (Jean) of Stratford and Mrs. H. Black (Margaret) of Kincardine. He was predeceased by a sister, Mrs. F. Barkwell (Agnes). Mr. MacTavish was a member of Golden Rule Masonic Lodge Number 126, Campbellford, Ont., and he was padre of Bradford Legion, Branch 521. He was secretary of The Simcoe Presbytery and The Toronto Conference Settlement Committee. The very largely attended funeral was held from Bradford United Church on December 23, and was in charge of ministers of Simcoe Presbytery, namely, Rev. A. S. McCuaig, Rev. A. Smith, Rev. R. E. Webster, and Rev. H. Blake, former rector here. Pallbearers were Dr. G. L. Blackwell, Mr. T. Gardner, Mr. C. T. S. Evans, Mr. Harold Tate, Mr. Alex Stephenson and Mr. C. Brittain. Interment was in Aurora Cemetery.