Irvin Lawrence Robertson was born on 28 April 1927 in London, Ontario. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Western Ontario before proceeding to Huron College, from which he received his Licentiate in Theology in 1952. Made Deacon by the Bishop of Algoma, W.L. Wright, on 22 May 1952 at St Luke’s Pro-Cathedral, Sault Ste Marie, and ordained Priest on the Feast of St Matthias (24 February) the following year at the Church of the Epiphany, Sudbury, Dean Lawrence had just celebrated his 62nd year in priestly orders.
Serving first as an Assistant Curate at the Church of the Epiphany, Sudbury (1952-1954), he moved north to St Stephen’s, Port Arthur (1954-1958). The next nine years he was at St Paul’s, Wawa, which included Hawk Junction (1958-1967), and then for the next eight years he served Trinity Church, Parry Sound (1967-1975). In 1975 he came to the Cathedral as Dean, and here he remained until his retirement in 1992. He is the Cathedral’s longest-serving Dean. His service to the Diocesan Matrimonial Commission spans 40 years, and at the time of his death he was the Chair. He served under four bishops and was decorated with an honorary doctorate from Huron University College in 1981.
The news of Lawrence’s death comes as a great shock to members of the Cathedral who are accustomed to seeing his friendly smile every Sunday and who remember his vigorous handshake as recently as two weeks’ ago. Our prayers ascend for his wife, Joyce, and for his family to whom he was supremely devoted.
The funeral will take place at St Luke’s Cathedral on Monday, 16 March, at 2:00 p.m., and will include a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Visitation will be at Arthur Funeral Home from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, 15 March. As a sign of respect to Dean Lawrence, the Synod Office will be closed the afternoon of 16 March to allow staff to attend the funeral.