Rev. Gordon Elliott

Rev Gordon Elliott

Rev. Gordon Elliott was born in Glasgow, Scotland, June 9, 1888. He taught school at various places in Scotland until he came to Romsey where he became assistant organist. During his time at Romsey, Rev. Elliott heard about Newfoundland and, in 1908, decided he would move to Newfoundland. However, just before his move to Newfoundland, he attended an experimental Scout Camp operated by Lord Baden Powell in Perth, Scotland.

When Rev. Elliott told Lord Baden that he was going to Newfoundland to work, Lord Baden said: “Just the place for Boy Scouts, why not start it there?” Armed with the authority to speak for the Boy Scout Movement, Rev. Elliott came to St. John’s and rented a room in an old house at Maggoty Cove (as it was then known) for the purpose of Boy Scout meetings. Initially, 10 boys met once a week to learn how to read a compass, hoist a flag, and tie knots. Memory games, flag signals, and hikes were also part of the Boy Scout curriculum.

The names of the boys of the first troop are forgotten except for a Duchemein and a Brown (who later became a judge) who kept in touch with Rev. Elliott until his death.

He entered Queen’s College where he studied for ministry. He was ordained in 1911 as Deacon and, in 1913, as Priest. Rev. Elliott married the former Lily M. Stirling – sister of the late Canon Stirling, and cousin of Georgina Stirling.

During his ministry, Rev. Elliott resided in many communities in Newfoundland and thoroughly enjoyed all the places he visited. At one time, he returned to England and attended King’s College in London where he studied medicine. Due to the lack of doctors around the Newfoundland coast, clergy were often called upon to assist the sick. Therefore, Rev. Elliott’s knowledge of medicine greatly assisted him in his work among the Newfoundland people.

He was a dedicated minister who especially loved children. Rev. Elliott held a special service for them every Sunday and taught them love and reverence for God’s House. These services were well attended by parents and children alike.

He returned to England with his family in 1936 and worked in a few parishes and was Hon. Chaplain to Canterbury Cathedral from 1944 – 1947 where he conducted tours of the Cathedral and held evening services. In 1947 he returned to Newfoundland and became Rector of Foxtrap Parish until 1959 at which time he retired.

During his retirement, he lived part time in Twillingate and assisted with services at St. Peter’s Church. He loved nature and catalogued the wild flowers of Newfoundland. He wrote many unpublished accounts of his encounters with beaver, moose and bears and also of fishing expeditions.

Rev. Elliott was mentally alert and expressed a great interest in reading and crossword puzzles until his death. He died at age 96 and was buried at Snelling’s Cove Cemetery.

Reverend Gordon Elliott with young friend