Tony Tremblett believes that we all have the spiritual gene, even those of us who don’t ascribe to a formal religion. The gene expresses itself in the big questions we ask during the turning points in our lives.
As the Spiritual Care Coordinator at Three Links, Tony creates space for big life questions to be explored. For a group of residents like ours, many of whom have been touched by the death of a spouse, the loss of independence, or declining health, Tony’s visits are very welcome.
“I might be the only person in a day who is not coming to give them medication or take their blood pressure,” Tony says. “That care – making sure everyone is fed, healthy, and clean – is so important, but it’s not everything. People talk to me about the lessons they’ve learned in life, their regrets, and what they’re proud of.”
Tony has such a warm and welcoming personality, it’s no wonder people feel at ease talking to him about their deepest emotions. He is just as comfortable talking about the death of a loved one as he is talking about the traffic in Vancouver.
Tony came to ministry along a winding path. He grew up in Bonavista, Newfoundland, the second most easterly point in North America. As a child, he loved going to Sunday school for the sense of community and the inspiration that came from the music and story-telling. He left his first job, running a wholesale warehouse, when the 1992 cod fishing moratorium decimated the local economy. He moved to Halifax, where he became a licenced customs agent, and then transferred to British Columbia two years later. In BC, he was inspired by his faith to attend seminary and become a minister. He now spends his days visiting seniors in care facilities, hospices, and in their homes, and speaking as a guest at churches.
In addition to connecting one-on-one with residents, Tony facilitates spiritual programs like hymn sings, scripture readings, and celebrations of life for residents who have passed away. He also reaches out to family and friends and staff when a resident passes away.
You can find Tony at Three Links on Thursdays and Fridays in the contractor office directly ahead of the care centre’s main doors. He would welcome a visit, whether you want to talk about the traffic or the death of a loved one.