On Saturday John Ferguson Sr. died after a courageous battle with cancer. While I did not know John well, I was pleased to have been in his company many times over the past 8 years and was the recipient of his gentlemanly nature and his obvious kindness of heart. I will not forget our first meeting. I am a life-long Montreal Canadiens fan – this was a big moment for me. Given his fierce and competitive nature on the ice I think I had a certain expectation of what this man would be like. I was so surprised to be quickly disarmed from being star-struck because Mr. Ferguson was such an unassuming and gentle man. It was a privilege to meet a true Habs hero but now I realize that it was more a privilege to meet such a thoughtful and benevolent human being.
John was a founding member of the Circle of Seven Charity Group here in Windsor of which our parish’s Rob Agnew is a member. This group has raised over $2 Million dollars for local charities – our church is one of those charities. John supported our Annual auction each year which to date has raided in excess of $140 000. I want to take this opportunity to offer our parish’s prayers and best wishes to the Ferguson Family and the Circle of Seven Family at this very difficult time. John will be missed by a lot of people – this community has lost a kind and gentle leader. God be with you all as your mourn and be assured of the love of God and the prayers of the community at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake.
I leave with this video from YouTube showing John doing what he did best – such a fierce competitor – John finished his life by fighting cancer – and he took it on with all courage and strength that we saw him display on the ice. – hear how John Jr. described his Dad’s battle with the disease: "My father battled cancer with the same spirit in which he played the game of hockey," Ferguson Jr. said in a release on Saturday. "He showed courage, strength, class and tremendous character. He had deep appreciation for the support he’d received from so many people beginning with his initial diagnosis. My father’s spirit will continue to live on in all of us whose lives he touched."