With so many in the City of Kamloops, we at St. Paul’s are slowly and regretfully coming to terms with the sudden death of our dear friend, Bud Forbes. We offer our sincere condolences to his beloved wife Jo-Lynn, to daughters Barbara and Wendy and to all of Bud’s family. And speaking of “family” his relationships touched so many in other communities–the Kamloops Heritage Railway; Kamloops 4H; numerous sporting organizations including curling.
This premature death was so sudden and not in the natural order of things. In many cathedral conversations a hole now appears which Bud once filled–in ministry at Berwick On The Park Care Home; in Sunday worship leadership including the training and supervision of severs; in the Soul Friends programme; in the Cursillo community. Bud literally put his “hands in the dirt;” he fashioned outdoor crosses for the Easter Vigil; he joined Bishop Barbara at national urban ministry conferences and attended countless courses at the Sorrento Centre over the years.
Bud was deeply engaged with almost every aspect of downtown social ministry. Especially through the Out of the Cold overnight shelter ministry, Bud was omnipresent. Until a year ago Bud directed this challenging and life-giving restorative ministry. The street folks of Kamloops have special regard and affection for Bud and his team. He was not only their friend (he knew most by name when greeting visitors at the shelter door); he was their adopted and respected father.
As recently as last week, Bud appeared at the Cathedral almost daily, an exuberant, extroverted, compassionate presence, almost always with a smile and a desire to help. He really drew so little attention to himself but was genuinely concerned for others. He would often come to me with needs for others, some which I could aid, and in some cases not. For me he embodied the biblical parable of the sheep (irony noted) and the goats chronicled in the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 25:40:
Amidst all this activity, all this energy, all this passion for life and love, the foundation of it all was a profound Christian faith, deeply rooted in the stories and practice of Jesus, a devotion worthy of study and emulation. I realize I risk exaggerating the truth about Bud, but I think in this case, superlatives are justified. He loved God; he loved his family; he loved his Church; and he loved creating opportunities for love, in and with others.
I recall words from a poem by Prudentius (AD 348-413) which seem appropriate for a man who dug deep in the earth which fed him:
Rest in peace faithful Christian, you generous and faith-filled human being. We miss you; we will never forget you; we will take those things which you cherished and make them real in our community and world.
Dean Ken Gray