By Angelica Ingram
When Bill Gliddon opened his letter from the Archbishop of Toronto he thought he was off the hook.
The letter dated Dec. 11 invited Gliddon to attend a special New Year’s Day Levee at St. James Cathedral where he would be given the honour of becoming a Member of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto.
However the letter asked honourees to notify the Archbishop by Dec. 18 if they would be able to attend and Gliddon’s letter did not arrive to his house until Dec. 19.
The Haliburton resident thought that meant he could gracefully decline but friends and fellow churchwardens would have none of it.
So on Jan. 1 with supporters in tow Gliddon attended the levee hosted by Rev. Colin R. Johnson and was recognized as someone “whose light shines whose works glorify.”
The honour was something Gliddon was not expecting and in turn makes the humble resident bashful when asked about it.
“This came right out of the blue” he said. “It was from the Archbishop himself.”
Born and raised in Haliburton Village Gliddon has given much of his life serving in church ministry.
An organist at St. George’s Anglican Church for close to 54 years Gliddon has spent time at various churches in the area helping out wherever he is needed.
Last year Johnson visited Haliburton for the church’s 150th anniversary and was brought by boat to the village shore in a special ceremony.
A retired music teacher Gliddon 76 has a deep love for both his church and music leading the choir and writing special music for St. George’s.
The recognition he received from Johnson stemmed from his volunteer ministry with the church and the community at large said Gliddon.
“I was being honoured for the music I’d written. He was specifically thinking of the sacred music.”
A lifetime church attendee Gliddon was the assistant organist at the United Church at the ripe old age of 12.
After returning to the area following his university studies in Toronto he lent his talents to a variety of churches.
“I’ve been around” he jokes. “The last church I ever thought I’d end up in was the Anglican but they needed me.”
Gliddon doesn’t get hung up on doctrine or the differences between the institutions instead focusing on the similarities.
He has no intention of giving up his organ or choir duties anytime soon as they both give him joy.
Apart from the music Gliddon has served on various committees and done many forms of outreach in the community.
Outside of church the retired teacher is involved with community radio station Canoe FM Highlands Little Theatre and much more.
Gliddon jokes that when he first opened the letter from the Archbishop he thought there must have been some mistake.
But those who know him well know that couldn’t be further from the truth.
A generous soul with a kind spirit Gliddon spreads love and kindness wherever he goes.
He was accompanied by friends to the event where he was honoured along with individuals from throughout the province.
“They even mentioned how I have a vegetable garden and how I look after people who need food” said Gliddon. “I just like doing those things why should I be mentioned?”
According to the letter from the Archbishop the purpose of the order is to recognize and honour those laypersons in the diocese who have given outstanding service over a significant period of time in their volunteer ministry.
Gliddon was astounded by the works done by the others who were being honoured referring to them as saints.
“Those other folks they inspire me so much” he said.
Gliddon attributes his desire to do good work to having a good attitude and wanting to be a servant like Jesus was.
“I respect all faiths and all religions and I respect no faith” he said. “Most people believe in good and trying to help people.”