AMHERST, N.S. - When David Myles was told he was receiving the Amherst Rotary Club’s highest honour, he protested vigorously.
“He had to be reminded that he had been a faithful and dedicated member for over 30 years. Also, that this award recognizes not just Rotary activities and accomplishments, but community service as well,” longtime Rotarian Morris Haugg said during the recent ceremony presenting the Distinguished Service Award. “Still, David protested. His resistance crumbled when he was informed - tongue in cheek - that it was mostly a longevity award. He had no answer to that.”
Born in Campbellton, N.B., Myles grew up in Edmundston and attended Mount Allison University – planning to major in physics.
An inspiring lecture by an Anglican missionary persuaded him to leave physics for theology.
He got his bachelor of arts from the University of Kings College, followed by a licentiate in theology – where he would meet his future wife Margaret.
Together, they took his first posting in Rawdon to be followed by a year in Kensington, P.E.I.
He would go back to school to get an education degree from Saint Mary’s and a masters in education from Acadia with an emphasis on student guidance and counselling.
“Christian ministry and education. That’s David Myles in a nutshell. These two passions ruled most of his life,” Haugg said.
Myles has been a crusader and visionary in the field of education all his adult life, at least until a few months ago.
The Myles family came to Amherst in 1975. He planned to stay two years, but never left. In all, Myles served as an Anglican priest for 37 years.
Despite his intense interest and involvement with education, he says that he was a priest 24/7 - in other words, he made himself available at all times.
In addition to his duties at Christ Church, he served on the Diocesan Council of Nova Scotia and served the Anglican Church of Nova Scotia as a regional dean, succeeded by the position of archdeacon for Northern Nova Scotia for more than 15 years.
He served as chaplain of the Amherst Police Department for more than 20 years, was a member of the hospital’s palliative care advisory committee and was a longtime member of several school boards dating back to the board of trustees in 1965 until earlier this year when the elected Chignecto-Central Regional School Board was disbanded.
Myles has been a member of the Masonic Order and a Shriner for 25 years and has held the position of Grand Chaplain for the Province of Nova Scotia.
Myles joined Rotary in 1984. He has served faithfully on several committees, most notably the awards and anniversary committee and the youth and scholarship committee. He’s also been a generous supporter of Polio Plus.
Myles is the proud father of two children. His son, Peter, is a music editor for films in California, where he lives with his wife, Kate, and young son, Neil. His daughter, Susan, works with her husband, Tony Robichaud.
David and his wife are particularly proud and supportive of their granddaughter, Astrud. She is a ballet dancer. Astrud got her start here in Amherst and now studies ballet and academics at the Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine. His grandson, Myles, is still at ARHS in the French