The Right Reverend Allen Goodings 1925- 1992
In 1964, the Reverend Allen Goodings enquired at the Diocesan office in Montreal about the possibility of becoming a locum over the summer months. Advised that nothing was vacant, the secretary put forward his name should a placement become available. Early in July, he unexpectedly received a phone call asking if he would be interested in presiding over services at the Tadoussac Protestant chapel the following month. Neither he nor his wife Joanne knew much about where they were headed but a few weeks later a trunk was loaded onto a CSL steamship, and with their car packed to the roof, the family set off on an adventure that was to be repeated almost yearly for the next two decades.
Allen Goodings was born on May 7, 1925 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England. The second of three children, he was born into a shipbuilding family. His father Thomas was in the employ of His Majesty’s Colonial Service in the protectorate of Nigeria overseeing the building of steam ships, and Allen followed his older brother Goff into an apprenticeship at Vickers Armstrongs shipyard in Barrow. He furthered his craft at Barrow Technical College and though he would rather be playing sports than studying, he eventually graduated as an engineer draughtsman. Allen, a passionate sportsman, was selected to play rugby for Lancashire County at Wembley stadium in London. He had the prospect of a professional rugby career at that time, but chose to follow another path.
On March 29, 1952, Allen sailed from Liverpool to begin a position with Vickers Armstrongs Shipbuilders, Ltd. in Montreal. Being a gregarious man, he set about building a life in Canada, but gradually came to realize that he was being pulled towards another vocation. In the fall of 1952, he began a Bachelor of Arts degree at Sir George Williams College. The following year, he also began a Bachelor of Divinity at the Diocesan Theological College of McGill University. In the spring of 1959, he graduated with a degree from both universities and was ordained in December. He married Joanne Talbot of Grand Valley, Ontario, on October 26 that same year, they went on to have two children, Suzanne and Thomas, shortly thereafter.
Over the next ten years, Allen served three parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal and was chaplain to the Grenadier Guards from 1966 to 1969. His love of rugby never far behind, he and a group of players from the Westmount club played for Canada in the annual Bermuda Rugby Week. He was later a member of Montreal Barbarians Rugger Club. In the fall of 1969, he became Dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Quebec City. On October 31, 1977, Allen was installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Quebec and served until he resigned his See in 1991. He and his wife Joanne retired to the Ottawa area the same year, where he became assistant bishop of Ottawa and served until his death on December 15, 1992.
Tadoussac became Allen’s spiritual home, a place where he made lifelong friends, and lasting memories. An avid fell walker in his youth, he loved nothing more than to set off on a long ramble. He spent many happy afternoons on the tennis court, and loved family picnics on Pointe Rouge communing with belugas and basking on the rocks. Allen requested that his ashes be scattered on the Saguenay River. This was done on a foggy morning in May 1992, as a whale surfaced to accompany the sailboat.