St Margaret's Pioneer Cemetery Rededication Service
Sunday October 13,1974
TRIBUTE TO OUR ANCESTORS, given by Hughie Joseph MacDonald
Sing, Sing a Song of Joy! These are the sentiments which are in our hearts this afternoon, we are joyous because our hearts are laden with thanks. On this our thanksgiving weekend as we gather to honour the faith and courage of our forebears, thanksgiving. Many of us have accepted the faith, which we enjoy as a right, but still we fail to realize that our ancestors kept theirs under conditions which would destroy ours, we have only to read the story of the late Bishop Bernard MacEachern, who travelled the length and breadth of P.E.I. by boat and by foot, often on snowshoes to gather the flock together in some remote farmhouse, to celebrate the mysteries of our early religion.
It might be well for us today to give thanks for our faith which has come to us only through adverse conditions and a marvelous relationship between our forebears and our God, in whom they place their trust. You and I are, at present, enjoying the good life. We have all types of conveniences at our disposal. In a word, the world is at our fingertips. At the click of a switch we can learn everything that happens in the world. Our ancestors left their homeland with little more than a trunk and courage and faith which staggers the imagination, to brave a land which was to all practical purposes was hostile to mankind. They placed their faith and trust in God, and set off to make a new life for themselves, relying on their ambition and strength to clear away the forest so that we their children might be able to enjoy what we now have. So as we gather to celebrate thanksgiving, it might be well to pause and give thanks to Almighty God for the courage of our forebears and pray for the grace to be strong enough to imitate the unsung heroism.