It remains for me to say is the unconventional title of the memoir of the sixth — and first New Brunswick born — bishop of Fredericton, Harold Nutter.
The book of his life and vocation in the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton was printed in early 2023 by Atlantic Reproductions in Halifax and available for purchase.
The book is based on interviews with the Public Archives of New Brunswick, which came calling after Bishop Harold retired. About five years ago, his son Andrew (also known as Bruce), asked his mother what became of the transcript.
“They were in the other room,” said Andrew, who has led the project on getting the memoir to print.
When he sat down to read, Andrew was surprised to see that his father began at the beginning — in Welsford, where Harold’s father was a grocer.
While other boys were out hunting and fishing, 10-year-old Harold was studying Greek.
“He writes that he wasn’t like other boys,” said Andrew. “His father couldn’t understand his son and had a hard time explaining him to others. But he became a classics scholar.”
Harold studied the classics at Mount Alison University, then went on to University of Kings College and Dalhousie University in Halifax.
While Harold was studying theology at Kings, his Mount A classics professor died and he was offered the post — a real prize. But when he discussed it with Bishop Moorhead, he was told no, the diocese needs you. And so Harold became a priest instead of a professor.
When Bishop O’Neil was dying, Harold made the trip to Ontario to see him. At the end of the visit, Harold asked, ‘Can I bless you before I leave?’
‘No young man, I will bless you!’ was the response. They ended up blessing each other.
The book also describes the only time Harold ever chastised a fellow bishop. It was during the 200th anniversary of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, when bishops came from near and far for the celebration. The presiding American bishop spoke, telling the Canadian bishops that at the coming Lambeth Conference, they were expected to fall in line and approve the U.S. priorities.
“Dad told him it was a disgrace,” said Andrew.
Harold’s writings near the end of the book, written in the early 1990s, are somewhat prophetic, said Andrew.
“They’re prescient. They anticipate the fall of the Church. Some will say, ‘right on!’ and some will say he’s losing it.”
The book includes an essay by Andrew “on growing up on the corner of Brunswick and Church Streets,” he said.
Why publish his father’s memoirs?
“It’s not about my father’s glorification,” said Andrew. “I think it’s an extraordinarily interesting story, a human tale.
“Secondly, it’s in his voice. People will say, ‘this is Harold through and through.’
“Thirdly, he is speaking to the church in our time, warning us of the mess we’ve gotten into. That’s a good way to be remembered. It’s for people who want to hear that. It should be read by Anglicans.”
The book’s forward is written by celebrated New Brunswick author David Adams Richards. It is available at the Fredericton Public Library, and for sale at Westminster Books in downtown Fredericton and at the Diocesan Synod office (Tuesdays and Thursdays are best). The price is $28. Contact Cheryl regarding getting a copy outside of Fredericton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Excerpt from the book:
“During the night of December 16, 1941 a fire engulfed the building, and many of the residents escaped by jumping. Only four persons lost their lives, all of them billeted in one room on the top floor. I had been assigned to that room. A few days before the fire the Dean of Residence put me in another room on the top floor with the only fire escape in the building. Coincidence? Fate? Divine intervention? These are questions which have haunted me ever since.”
1. The front and back covers of It remains for me to say.
2. A Telegraph Journal photo of Archbishop Harold Nutter and his son, Andrew (Bruce) at Christ Church Cathedral on the day Harold ordained his son to the priesthood.