Brian Yealland, University Chaplain
Brian Yealland, MDiv'72, became Queen’s Chaplain in 1983, and has been an integral part of the Queen’s community. He acts as minister and supporter to students, staff and faculty. An ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, Mr. Yealland is also a campus advocate for all people and faith groups, assuring that their religious and spiritual needs are accommodated and celebrated.
Mr. Yealland has known all the recipients of the John Orr Award going back to 1983, and has attended the awards dinner for several years. When hearing that he was this year’s recipient, he thought that with so many other people in line for the award maybe there was a mistake.
“Then I thought about the very distinguished list of people who have received the award, and I felt very honoured,” he says. “It was still possible that it was a mistake, but I decided that until I heard that, I’d continue to just feel very honoured indeed.”
Mr. Yealland never knows what a day will bring. “It’s always an adventure,” he says. “Any day can bring great joy or great sorrow, or both.”
There are always requests for financial assistance, counseling, weddings and funerals, support of a religious or spiritual nature, or administrative support for any of the religious groups, in regard to their holy days and accommodation needs.
“There are always people I am concerned about and they may receive a call from me or I may wander the campus, just checking on how they are doing,” he says. “Not every day brings a crisis, but when one arises, I am suddenly in a very different mode, and often fully engaged for a considerable period of time.”
Mr. Yealland will receive the 2010 John Orr Award in Toronto on November 20. The award is given annually by the Toronto Branch of the QUAA to celebrate significant contribution to the life and welfare of Queen's University.
The John Orr Award Dinner sold out early this year, but members of the Queen’s community can still send their good wishes to Mr. Yealland by email.