The name and images of Anne Krug turn up in various places around Fairlawn. Her photo is on the wall at the back of the Sanctuary as well as in the Birtch Room. The piano at the front of the Sanctuary is dedicated to her. And the east wing of the church — home to the choir rooms and offices for music and Spirit Space — is the Anne Krug Wing.
Fondly remembered by many long-time Fairlawn worshipers, Krug was the Assistant Minister to Rev. Frank Meadows until she died of cancer at age 43. But her ties to Fairlawn go back much further than her ministry.
In 1975, it was Krug, as a member of the Mission & Resources Committee, who presented a motion at the annual general meeting to create an annual $5,000 scholarship for Metis students as a way to celebrate Fairlawn’s 60th anniversary.
Entering the ministry
She began studying for the ministry the following year. It was a change in direction for the educator who had been teaching modern languages at North Toronto Collegiate for a decade. But not so surprising to her minister George Birtch who later noted that “Anne has always been at home in the church environment. She was brought up in a home where Christian faith is central and where involvement in the church’s life and work is as natural as breathing.”
Her father, Rev. Crossley Krug, was a long-time United Church minister who began attending Fairlawn with his wife Eleanor after his retirement. Growing up in Toronto, Anne Krug attended Havergal College and the University of Toronto before spending a year teaching English in West Germany.
While pursuing the ministry at the Centre for Christian Studies, she did her field work at Regent Park United Church (now the site of the CRC). She forged ties between RPUC and Fairlawn through financial contributions from our church and by having Fairlawn’s Kris Kringle’s Kapers perform at the Regent Park church and nearby Lord Dufferin school.
Krug began assisting Birtch three afternoons a week in 1977 doing visitation and helping with Christian Education, Social Concerns and Mission & Service. She became a Fairlawn minister in the fall of 1980, being installed at the same time as Meadows was inducted as the new senior minister.
A long battle with cancer
Within a few years, the cancer that was moving through her system began to take a toll on her work, requiring exhausting treatment. “Her own illness made her all the more sensitive to the need and the pain of others,” remembered Birtch. “Her victorious battle to keep her own faith strong during the discouragements of her days made her a special comfort to struggling people.”
Krug died of cancer on September 10, 1983.
A few months later, Crossley and Eleanor Krug donated their living room grand piano to Fairlawn in memory of their daughter. It still sits near the front-row pews. An Anne Krug Memorial Fund was established to restore and maintain the instrument.
The piano’s debut was in a performance by Carol Birtch (Rev. George’s wife) on June 12, 1984, accompanied by her daughter Marianne Pack on cello. Pack was a student of Anne Krug and still performs at Fairlawn — most recently for last Sunday’s special music.