Surprising Darlene on Sunday 21 Aug with a presentation of flowers and chocolates were (left to right):  Padre Liam Thomas, 4 CDSG Senior Chaplain, Amanda Cheverie, St. George’s Chapel Committee Chairperson, Darlene TerMarsch, and Padre Wayne Sollows, Chapel Life Coordinator, St. George’s Chapel. (Submitted photo)


25th Anniversary Celebration of Music Director at St. George’s Chapel

Community News

By Hilda Young

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2016


The choir, chaplains, worship band, and congregation of St. George’s Protestant Chapel, Garrison Petawawa, held a surprise 25th Anniversary Celebration for their Music Director, Darlene TerMarsch, on the evening of May 26th.  

The actual anniversary date is August 25th, but since many people would be away at that time, it was decided to hold a surprise celebration a bit earlier.  

Darlene was escorted next door to the Roman Catholic Chapel Annex for the surprise event.  The food, which was provided by members of the choir and congregation, was already set up. Padre Bob Lay, outgoing Chapel Life Coordinator, had organized the event.

A framed congratulatory letter signed by 4th Canadian Division Support Base Personnel Services Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Steve Nolan, was presented to Darlene in commemoration of her 25 years of Music Ministry at St. George’s Chapel.  Padre Liam Thomas presented Darlene with a wooden plaque on behalf of the Chaplain Branch.  The congregation presented Darlene with a handmade card designed by Amanda Cheverie, Chapel Chairperson.  From the choir, Darlene received a pair of wine glasses and a cedar candle stand with ‘25’ carved on it, handmade by Rob LaFroy.

Darlene TerMarsch was originally interviewed by three Chaplains back in 1991: Padre George Scharf, Padre Leslie Dawson and Padre Rick Durrett.  All three chaplains have since retired. 

It is a testament to Darlene’s professionalism that she has worked with more than 62 chaplains!  At present, there are fourteen Protestant chaplains.

She currently directs the choir, plays the organ/piano, sings solos, and participates in the Worship band by playing drums.  Darlene first started playing as a church organist when she was 14 at the Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in Pembroke. She studied piano and voice through the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Although her early studies were primarily classical, her knowledge of musical genres has broadened considerably through the years of accompanying various soloists and musical groups. i.e. Kiwanis Music Festival, Pembroke Community choir, Pembroke Musical Society, Deep River Symphony Orchestra, Legion Swing Band, GT Swing Orchestra, Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, Streetlight Theatre Company, Deep River Cantando Singers, and the Ottawa Valley Festival Chorus.