Geraldine Dearing Bould had a somewhat unconventional journey before arriving at the United Church Training School. Born and raised on Manitoulin Island, in Ontario, into a devout Christian family she headed to 3 years of Bible College after high school, then in 1949 began work for the WMS at the School Home in Lachine, a residence for children attending school in Montreal. These School Homes are in some ways reminiscent of Indian Residential Schools. Two more years of education, this time at the United Church’s Albert College preceded her entry into the Training School. Like Louise and Ruth, she blossomed under the tutelage of Harriet, Jean and Katharine. Geraldine was a bright woman, with a keen mind.
Graduation, Designation and then Commissioning as a missionary under the WMS led to a position as “Missionary at Large in Superior Presbytery” It was 4 years of doing everything but sacraments for a far flung 4 point charge west of Thunder Bay. A special part of the work there was a weekly evening radio devotion broadcast from Fort William.
Her annual reports in the WMS Yearbook are a wonderful testament to the diaconal perspective and style she brought to her work with steady evidence of how she passed the leadership over to the people, supporting them when they needed it. In her final report she writes, “On December 29 I was married in my home church in Mindemoya and now settled in the Manse in Big River, Saskatchewan, happy to be sharing in the work of the very large mission field.” Gerry joined the ranks of the disjoined.
Married to the minister, like others in her situation, Geraldine worked alongside David, first in the 1500 square mile pastoral charge north of Prince Albert, then back on Manitoulin Island. She balanced the role of trained minister’s wife with that of mother. In 1973, the neighouring pastoral charge of Silver Water was vacant. Geraldine decided to apply and sought reinstatement. The return of her status was accomplished easily. A few years later she teamed with David at Lions Head, then moved to into a solo positions at Tobermory, Owen Sound and Mattawa. In 1992 she retired back to her island home where she contributed important leadership to Manitou Conference. Geraldine died in the nursing home where she was living at the age of 86.
This memorial was written by Caryn Douglas in 2015. For a longer biography see UCC Deaconess History site.