Padre East Oil Painting

Oil Painting of Padre Stewart East, MBE, MC

A 16 inch (40.64 cm) by 20 inch (50.8 cm) oil painting of Honorary Captain the Reverend Stewart East.  “Padre East” landed with the Highlanders at Pachino on 10 July 1943 and served with them throughout Sicily and Italy, leaving in January 1945 as the unit was preparing to redeploy to Northwest Europe.  He and his stretcher bearers bandaged, ministered and buried the dead. How they felt about him is best expressed by Kim Beattie’s words taken from the Regimental History (Red Dileas) in how they greeted him at the 1951 Diamond Jubilee Reunion Dinner when he rose to toast the fallen.

“The huge number of veterans of 1939-45 were thwarted in prolonging their applause as a mark of their deep affection for H/Major Stewart East, M.C., M.B.E., because of the solemn nature of his assignment. He achieved the impossible; he stilled the throng with a toast to their Fallen Comrades, followed by the regimental buglers and the Last Post. While the sobbing, yet proud notes of the Flowers o’ the Forest filled the great booming hall, the Highlanders were silent, lost in the memories that only fighting men can know. Then the reunion roar broke out again.”

Excerpt From
Dileas: A History of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, 1929–1956
Kim Beattie

After he returned to Toronto in 1945, Padre East became Minister of Islington United Church.  He also served as Alderman in Etobicoke and as Chaplain with the Royal Canadian Legion. He maintained contact with “his boys” and their families after the War, and was greeted warmly whenever he entered the room.  He also continued to marry Highlanders and to Christen their children – and when required to bury them.

Associated place
Sorrento, Italy
Associated event
Associated name(s)
Padre East
1939 – 1945 (WW 2)
Location of artifact
Case 15 Padres
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