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By Belinda

The memories of the past shared here have been narrowly focused on our lives as a couple, but there was a bigger story unfolding along with ours during the 70's.

Paul's father died in 1986 at age 62, but if he was alive, today would have been his 86th birthday.

In 1969, at age 45, he emigrated from England to Canada with his family, including Paul and I who were married just five weeks when we left. 45 is far from old, but still, it takes a certain courage to leave everything behind and start over in a new and untried land.

But courage was a quality that the Rev. Ronald F.T. Burston had in abundance; and faith; vision; passion and drive. These qualities live on in the man I married.

He left behind the church that he had founded in Redditch, England, and immediately set about getting his Canadian credentials in ministry, while working to support his family of five. By 1976, just 7 years after arriving in Canada, he, with a small group of committed believers, founded and built Tottenham Evangelical Centre (now Hillside Community Church.)

School buses painted orange (it was the 70's!) picked up children throughout the surrounding area each Sunday, and one family whose children came to the church, were the Garvey girls: Joanne, Cindy, and their youngest sister, Susan.

Pastor Burston visited the families of the children who came to Sunday school, during the week. His style was to get out and know everyone in his community. It was on one of those visits that R.J. Garvey, the girls' father, prayed with Pastor Burston, and turned over his life to Christ. A marriage was healed, an addiction broken, and a family kept together. R.J. became a faithful Sunday School teacher for many years, who visited the families in the community. In 1994, Susan Garvey became our much loved daughter-in-law.

Today I honour the memory of my father-in-law; a poet; artist; gifted orator and fully devoted follower of Christ.

In this photo, on the left are Rev. Howard Honsinger and his wife and daughter; board members Ross Jones, Arthur Campbell and Don Rowe and in the foreground on the right, are Paul's parents: Brenda and Ron Burston.
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