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Remembering a Beloved Friend

Mr. Harradence in the 1940s. (contributed by Bishop Burton)Clyne Harradence DCL QC, a member of the Order of Saskatchewan, recipient of the Anglican Award of Merit, and Chancellor of the Diocese of Saskatchewan 1962-2004 died Saturday, March 17th, 2012.  He is survived by his wife, Helen (Martin) Harradence, his four sons, David, Keith, James and Hugh, and their families.

A parishioner of St. Alban’s Cathedral, Mr. Harradence was well known and respected across the Diocese. In 1962 he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Saskatchewan and informally appointed himself solicitor-at-large for all of the Diocese's clergy; in both capacities he served tirelessly for 42 years, never remembering to send a bill. 

Mr. Harradence was confirmed in St. Alban's Cathedral on March 29th, 1942, by Bishop Henry Martin who was to become his father in law.

Bishop Michael Hawkins, Saskatchewan Diocesan Bishop in his remarks said the Church on earth is much less colourful with the passing of Clyne Harradence.  He always had a firm handshake and an endearing smile and those were two complimentary sides of his personality. There was firmness to his advocacy both as a lawyer and as a traditional churchman as well as a gracious generosity. He was, in the words of the Prayer Book Baptism and Confirmation services, a “soldier and servant” of Christ in the Church and the community.  A devout Churchman for sixty years who remained firmly and unabashedly committed to the liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer and the traditional teachings of the Scriptures.  His passing in the year that we celebrate together the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Book of Common Prayer (Canada) is worth noting.  His death and memory invite us in the Diocese to recommit ourselves to the “Doctrine, Sacraments, and Discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded in his Holy Word, and as the Church of England hath received and set forth the same in ‘The Book of common Prayer’ and to transmit the same to our posterity.” 

Bishop Stephen Andrews, Diocese of Algoma and former Dean of Saskatchewan characterized Mr Harradence in his tribute to a good friend; he was a devout Christian, a devoted servant of the Church, and a great encouragement to his clergy.  At the end of the annual meeting every year, he would rise and say, ‘Mr Dean, I feel we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge how fortunate we are for your leadership!’A persuasive criminal defence attorney, he would then employ his rhetorical skills in such praise that the decanal sins and ineptitudes of the past year were effectively dismissed, and you thought maybe you should stay on for another year! And yet, for all of his barrel-chested confidence, at heart he was a tender and a humble man.  He was slightly in awe of clergy, and even when he did not agree with them, he had a profound respect for their office. I think that this may have to do with the esteem in which he held his father-in-law, Bishop Henry David Martin (1939-1959).  He felt that the priesthood was the highest of human vocations, and confessed to me that he could never be a priest because he wasn’t ‘good enough’.  Indeed, a couple of times a year, as directed in the rubrics, I would read the Exhortation in the Prayer Book, and Clyne would say that it went straight to his heart. Bishop Andrews quips what sums his stature up best for me was a woman at the Cathedral in Prince Albert who told me that, when she was a girl, she was convinced that the petitions in the service of Morning Prayer went: ‘O Lord, save thy people; and bless Clyne Harradence!

In his homily at the Burial office, Bishop Anthony Burton, [Rector of the Church of the Ascension, ECUSA and former Diocesan Bishop and Dean of Saskatchewan] remarked Clyne’s mastery in the courtroom was legendary.  In his heyday, he was the passionate advocate in his Province, brilliant at cross-examination and nationally famous for his summations in which he could lucidly address a jury for half an hour without a note. Bishop Burton spoke about the passionate lawyer who believed in the self-worth of every individual, He believed passionately in justice and the rule of law as essential to a free society and human flourishing. What kept him going through the thousands of routine cases were those occasions, maybe one in a hundred, when he knew that had he not been there, a true and serious injustice would have occurred and the life of an innocent person would otherwise have been ruined. He took large numbers of legal-aid cases to defend the poor.  Someone who to the public was nothing more than a no-account criminal, was to Clyne Harradence a human being with a family whose life mattered, and no matter how poor or frightened or inarticulate he might be, he deserved a fair shake and so the best possible defense. 

The funeral for the late Mr Harradence was held March 25, at Saint Alban’s Cathedral in Prince Albert.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and light perpetual shine upon him. (Book of Common Prayer, 1962)

Catherine Harnish

Associate Editor, Diocese of Saskatchewan

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