When Perth Shows You Love in a Time of Need

Yes, it has been quiet on this blog lately. We’ve introduced ourselves before on this blog, so you know this is written by a Perth-based duo. With that, comes the reality of life, and we definitely experienced that this past summer.

Greg, with our son, Alex.

Greg, with our son, Alex.

Cathy’s dad, Greg, passed away in mid-August following a five-year battle against cancer. The last few months were draining as our family worked together to make our dad as comfortable as possible. But do you know what helped us out throughout this process?


Yep, Perth.

We’re not sharing this story to make you feel sad for us; rather, we want to express our gratitude and outline just how much our community helped us out in our time of need. From neighbours to friends to strangers, we were floored by just how considerate each person was to us this summer. Home-cooked meals were dropped off; we were hugged in grocery stores; the GWM hospital staff made us feel at home; the funeral home staff were amazingly helpful; one family friend even bought me and my sisters lunch when she saw us out together at Gramma’s Lunchbox; and, heck, The Masonry treated us to a glass of wine after learning about an especially hard day. At his wake, we then got to talk to 900 people who helped us better understand just how great of a guy our dad was to them and to us.

Then, this week, the organizers of the Perth Terry Fox Run reached out to our family. Our dad was a big supporter of the Terry Fox Run, and just last year he raised $2,000. To honour him, they’re going to dedicate this year’s run in his name. Again, it’s just another way our community has shown us their support. Our Dad loved this community, and it’s obvious the community loved him right back.

It’s never easy to say good-bye to a loved one, but the transition was made easier thanks to the support of our small town. That’s what Perth does best. Everyone rallies behind you and shows you they feel your pain and loss, and extends their love to you in many different ways.


11 thoughts on “When Perth Shows You Love in a Time of Need

  1. Lesli Richmond says:

    so nice to have an opportunity again to remember an incredibly thoughtful kind gentleman with whom I have the privilege of knowing and sharing laughs. I think of him often still. He still makes me smile. God bless to all his family..


  2. Mike Irvin says:

    I was one of Greg’s first students when he came to St. John’s back in the early ’70’s. He made an immediate impact with his folksy style, but did not let that get in the way of making sure you learned the subject matter and did your best. He was always up for the game, and it was special when he took on the kids at floor hockey.
    He embodied all that is true when they say that teachers can inspire us to reach higher. We spoke together just a couple years ago about teaching and mentoring the future generation. Little did I know that he was already fighting his greatest battle. I will miss him.


  3. Susan Hitchcock says:

    Loved Mr. McNally. He made me the person I am today. I was always shy and felt intimidated by my classmates. He helped me get over that. Today I organize huge events and speak to groups and organizations of all sizes. He had this way about him. He was kind, soft spoken, encouraging and most importantly – REAL! My Aunt Rita Hogan and my dad, Ken O’Neil both worked at the school with Greg. I know I can speak for all of us when I say – he will be missed!


  4. Dawn Palmer says:

    Greg was a true example of reaping what he sowed. He touched so many lives and made a difference to so many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless!


  5. Andrea says:

    My sympathies for your loss. I understand from experience what you are describing. There is an amazing show of support from this small town. When our house burnt in March not only our little village but business in the town of Perth were so supportive. I remember the following few days after, going into shoppers to get school lunches for our two boys and they wouldn’t let me pay. Told me it was their treat. They were not the only ones! The community as a whole rallied around us and I would never want to live any where else!


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