Peter Antony Harsant Meggs
The Revd. Peter A.H. Meggs completed the earthly part of his journey through eternal life in Montréal on December 2, 2018. He was the loving husband of the late Kathleen Herron Meggs. Together they were parents of Geoff (Jan O’Brien) of Vancouver, Anne-Michèle (feu Jean-Guy Gauvin) of Montréal, and Paul (Cathryn Clarke) of Ottawa; grandparents of Caitlin in Toronto and Claire in Vancouver, Alexandrine, in Brussels, Belgium, Karine and Thomas in Montréal; and Lukas and Levi in Ottawa; and great-grandparents of Léa and Chloé in Montréal, Matthew in Ottawa, Sabastien in Peterborough and Félix in Brussels.
A memorial eucharist will be held at St. Matthew’s Church, 217 First Avenue, Ottawa on January 26, at 11 a.m. followed by a reception. Donations in Peter’s memory may be made to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (foundation.ottawaheart.ca/ways-give/donate-now), the Performing Arts Lodge, Vancouver (palvancouver.org), or the Sisters of St. John the Divine (www.ssjd.ca).
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Peter served with the RCAF (1944-1945) and later (I951-1952) as a Flying Officer in the RCAF Reserve in Toronto. He began his marriage to Kathleen and his broadcasting career in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 1948, and joined CBC in Toronto the following year. During the growth of radio and TV networks in the 1950s he was named Director of the Ottawa Area of CBC.
He left CBC in 1961 to study theology at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Québec. In 1963 he was ordained deacon and appointed Assistant Rector of St. Matthew’s Church, Ottawa, where he was ordained priest March 17, 1964. While living in Ottawa, Peter and Kathleen were members of this parish, and participated in both Jewish/Christian and Christian/Muslim Dialogues.
Following parish work at St. Matthew’s, Ottawa, he was transferred in 1964 to Anglican Church headquarters in Toronto as Director of Communications. While in Toronto he served as priest at the convent of the Sisters of St. John the Divine, and assisted clergy in parishes.
At the request of CBC, he also hosted a network Radio series called Concern, on the relationship between faith and current affairs, eventually returning full-time to CBC to revamp English radio programming with Doug Ward and was named national director of English radio. In 1976, he returned to Ottawa to serve as Vice-President of Audience Relations at CBC head office and eventually back to the Ottawa Area.
He retired in 1985 and spent the next five years (free-lance) writing, doing interviews for the Oral History Project of CBC Archives and hosting Open House, for the CBC Radio Network. Like Concern, Open House focused on the role of faith in everyday life.
Peter touched deeply the lives of every person he met, with his humour and his always attentive ear. He was interested in the stories of everyone around him. The same curiosity led him to embrace many diverse interests – from bird-watching to Canadian contemporary art, from various languages – French, Spanish, Swedish – to gardening, from modern theology to limericks, from Québec antiques to native art from the West Coast and Nunavut. He was a great ecumenist, fascinated by all forms of spirituality and their influence in the world. With his beloved Kathleen, their kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity were without limit and set the bar high for all who follow in their footsteps.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Peter Antony Harsant
Meggs 1925 2018..