On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, Sr. Rita Clare passed away unexpectedly at home in Parkland Cape Breton. Just two days previously during our concert “Salute to Canada”, the Cape Breton Chorale honoured Sr. Rita for her years of dedicated leadership and inspiration.
The following is an excerpt from the remarks made by Ruth Ann Morrison that evening on behalf of members of the Executive and choir:
“For Forty two years we had the privilege of having Sr. Rita Clare as our Director. Her dedication, and love of choral music allowed us to grow as a choir, and have many rich and varied experiences: concerts at home and abroad, recording CD’s, TV and Radio appearances, working with Voices for Hospice and fundraising for the Palliative Care Music Therapy Program, establishing the Sr. Rita Clare Scholarship , and so much more. She has received numerous awards and honours throughout the years but tonight I would like to highlight another side to our years together.
Quite simply, she became a friend, a mentor and confidante, offering strength and encouragement to so many of us over the years.
In her quiet way, Sr Rita became a mainstay in our lives. There was always practice Thursday nights and ...Sister Rita. There would sometimes be a phone call, an unexpected card in the mail, or a few words at practice to congratulate, celebrate, or commiserate as we marked the milestones in our individual lives.
Although we miss seeing you on Thursday nights, it is reassuring to know you are close by, still a friend, and, as ever, encouraging.“
We had no inkling that it would be our last opportunity to express our admiration and gratitude to Sr. Rita for her unparalleled contribution to the musical life of our community. She will be missed.
“Where words leave off, music begins”
- H. Heine.