Padre Laverty was the face of Queen's for decades and the personification of the values of our University. A list of those whom he touched with his wonderful spirit in his kind assistance,help and counselling would be legion.
I was introduced to his warm, spontaneous and welcoming nature, one early fall Sunday as a freshman in Meds' 63 walking up Albert Street from McNeill House towards Union Street. He was standing outside his home and greeted me with "Welcome to Queen's...are you hungry?" We had never met. Before I realized what was happening, I was an ad hoc guest at he and his gracious wife's Sunday Invitational. What a glorious experience...the company, the conversations, the great food, but mostly the genuine feeling of belonging.
No matter how many times I saw him on campus over the next six years, he always greeted me by name and never failed to enquire about my family,especially of my dad, John Howard Willard Arts' 35 who he knew somehow from the past and who had become Principal of my hometown High School in Winchester.His unbelievable memory for detail was nothing short of astounding and it was this gift that provided the inspirational personal touch which made me, and thousands of others over the years, feel special. He treated one as family.
I do hope that someone close to this great man writes his biography. "The Life and Times of Padre Laverty" It would be cherished by generations of Queensmen who knew him and would be a rich legacy to those who will "come down to Queen's" in the future.
I will always remember his greatest contribution to life....he cared!
And to his family, thank you for sharing him with us.
Garry L. Willard MD FRCSC FRCSEdin FACS FICS
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