Rev. George Murray

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Anyone travelling the Coquhilla Highway from Kamloops to Hope in B.C. should take a moment to stop at Merrit to view the Murray United Church. Aside from the name, it is interesting to us as it is a fitting memorial to a son of Pictou County.

Rev. George Murray was born at Scotsburn, Pictou County (Nova Scotia) in 1844, one of fourteen children of William Murray and Christena MacDonald. After studying at Pictou Academy, he took his theology at Glasgow University (Glasgow, Scotland).

In 1875 the Church of Scotland sent him as a missionary to the interior of British Columbia (Canada). For five years he was the only Presbyterian minister east of the Cascades.

He married Florence MacDonald of New Glasgow (Pictou County) in 1878. She had been living with her brother-in-law, Rev. Simon MacGregor in Victoria. In 1880 Rev. Murray was called to St. Andrew's in New Glasgow where he was a popular preacher for eight years.

In 1888 he returned to his former mission at Nicola near Merrit and continued a pastorate for over eighteen years. He covered his weekly circuit of over 100 miles on horseback.

The arduous travels took its toll on his health. He resigned his charge and became a government agent for the next twelve years. On retirement he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he worked as a supply minister when the need arose. He died in 1917.

(This biography was condensed from an article written by his grandaughter, Florence Sheret, and sent to us by Robert and Aase Murray of Sherwood Park, Alberta; published in Clan Matheson Society newsletterm by G. M. Matheson)

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