Sydney Waldron Williams 1899 - 1972
Sydney Williams was born in Quebec City on the September 16, 1899, and was the fourth child of Bishop Lennox Waldron Williams and Caroline Annie Rhodes. Sydney had an older brother James (Jimmy) who died at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and older sisters Mary and Gertrude.
Sydney attended Quebec High School (Boy’s School) from 1908 until 1916. He was Head Prefect and was awarded the Governor General’s medal (for mathematics) and the Ann Ross Medal (for science). He attended Bishop’s University from 1916 until 1918 and then the Royal Military College from 1918 until 1921 (College Number 1394). Sydney finished his degree in Chemical Engineering at McGill University (as RMC could not grant degrees at the time), graduating in 1923.
After graduation, Sydney worked for the Laurentide Paper Company in Grand-Mere between 1923 and 1927. He then decided to follow in the footsteps of so many of his ancestors by pursuing a degree in theology at Bishop’s University (1927-1929). He was ordained a deacon in May 1929, and then priest in 1930, by his father Bishop Lennox Williams at the cathedral in Quebec City.
After a short courtship, Sydney married Enid Price in June 1929 and they had four children: Joan, Susan, Jimmy and Sheila. Sydney was the curate for St Michael’s Church in Bournemouth, England between 1930 and 1932 before returning to work as the curate at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City while his father was Bishop. From 1933 until 1940, Sydney became the incumbent at St John the Evangelist, in Shawinigan Falls.
At the outbreak of war, and based on his previous military background, Sydney volunteered to serve and went overseas serving in the 66th Battery, 14th Field Regiment. While in England, Sydney worked as an instructor and he retired as a Major in 1944. He returned to his parish in Shawinigan as the Anglican rector where he worked for many years until his retirement in 1967. In addition to an active Parish ministry, he served with great devotion on many Diocesan boards including the Executive Committee of Synod, Church Society, Pension Committee, as well as being a member of the Corporation of King’s Hall, Compton.
Always a proud military man, in 1956, Sydney was made an Honorary Lt Col of the 62nd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment in Shawinigan. He was also the Honorary Chaplain for the RMC Club of Canada and would preside over many Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the College. The following quote comes from an article written for the RMC Review about Sydney:
“His many friends knew him as a man of understanding and wit, and he is also remembered by a great many people for his help in times of their trouble. His strong faith and deep understanding enabled him to give both spiritual and practical comfort.”
Sports were always a great interest of Sydney and as a young man he was a member of the Bishop’s University hockey and basketball teams. Sydney was also a great marksman and won many prizes for target shooting. He was a member of the Rifle Team at both RMC and McGill University. Later in life he is reputed to have taught the police in Shawinigan how to shoot. He used this skill in retirement when he could often be found shooting rats at the dump in Tadoussac.
Sydney spent his childhood summers in Tadoussac living with his parents. He was an avid golfer, tennis player and canoeist. After his ordination Sydney followed in the footsteps of his father by officiating the church services in July each summer until his retirement. On the death of his father, he inherited “The Barn” and spent his retirement playing bridge with Coosie and Ray Price and enjoying his children and grandchildren. He had a strong relationship with Dr. Taylor, an American clergyman who visited Tadoussac for many years.
Sydney died in St Anne’s Military Hospital in 1972 and was buried in Mount Hermon Cemetery in Quebec City. The reredos (panel behind the alter) in the Protestant Chapel in Tadoussac, was presented in his memory by the congregation.
Sydney was a beloved minister and his kind and friendly nature left a mark on everyone he met. Tadoussac was blessed to have had such a fine man as their liturgical leader for so many years.