Edmonton gospel singer has fond memories of growing up in Truro

‘We'll keep singing as long as the Lord gives us good health and the voices to do it'

Published on September 26, 2011

Oct. 2nd has been circled on Ralph Carter's calendar for some time.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for the lead tenor with ‘Gabriel,' a gospel singing trio from Edmonton.

On Sunday morning, the group, which includes Carter's wife Leslie and Willard Schneider, will sing at the Peoples Church in Truro and that evening they will appear at the Baptist Church in Brookfield.

"It's wonderful to come home and see family and friends," said Carter, who grew up in Brookfield and Truro. "I look forward to seeing people I played ball with and people I went to school with. It's always good to come back home."

Carter lived the first few years of his life in Brookfield and moved to Truro when he was five.

"One of my fond early memories would be visiting my relatives in Brookfield and playing road hockey," he said. "I would have been about eight."

He also recalled delivering newspapers with his twin brother George while growing up on Walker Street in Truro.

"George and I did this for about eight years and then we went to work for Malcolm MacQuarrie at C.A. MacQuarries as it was known then."

Sports was also a big part of his young life.

"Johnny Hutchinson was the first ball player who really caught my attention," said Carter. "Hutchie kind of mentored me when I got into catching at age 14. I got to play softball with Hutchie with Brookfield Creamery and then we were teammates when Keith MacKenzie coached the Salmon River Keiths. Those were great years growing up in Truro."

A graduate of Colchester County Academy/Truro Senior High School, Carter made it home to the school's reunion in early August.

"That 50th year reunion was something," he said. "It was great to see everyone and especially my favourite teacher Bob Gogan. Of the 71 in our class, about 66 of us went on to further our education."

After attending Dalhousie University, Carter went to Edmonton in 1968 with a pharmaceutical company.

"I met my wife Lesley while attending a Baptist Church in Edmonton," he said.

Lesley, born in Winnipeg and raised in Alberta, has a love for music and began taking piano lessons when in grade one. Besides being involved in junior and church choirs she attended a Christian college in Calgary where she learned improvisation.

They formed the trio with Schneider in 1989 and are entertaining no thoughts of retirement.

"We'll keep singing as long as the Lord gives us good health and the voices to do it," said Carter.

Ralph's mother Francis, his younger brother Danny and his sister-in-law Tony will be attending Sunday morning's service at the Peoples Church in Truro. His brother George and wife Sandra, who live in Halifax, will get to enjoy the trio Sunday night in Brookfield.

"Ralph loves to come to Brookfield," minister emeritus at Brookfield Baptist, Rev. Frank Locke said. "He told me one of his chief goals in life when he was younger was to play for the Brookfield Elks. He never did play for the team but he's always been a great supporter of the Elks."

Sunday morning's service at the Peoples Church begins at 10 a.m. The Gabriel gospel singing trio appear in Brookfield Sunday night at 7 p.m.

TAGLINE: Lyle Carter's column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.