April 22, 1928 – July 24, 2016
Lebenslauf for Regula Schule delivered by Linda Saunders-McLean
Anna Regula Schule was born on the 22nd of April, 1928 in Zurich, Switzerland to Charles Schule and Irene Lieb. In July of 1928 Regula was baptized in the Swiss Reformed Church. In 1935 because of financial difficulties Regula went to live with an uncle who was a minister and even though Regula’s family was not Moravian they would faithfully read the Moravian Daily Text at breakfast time. Regula stated that this was quite common in many Christian households in Switzerland. In 1944 on Palm Sunday Regula was confirmed by Herman Kubler in Erlenbach-Surich. From there Regula taught Sunday School, joined a church youth group and received her college training to be a teacher. After receiving her teaching degree Regula went to work in Switzerland with mentally handicapped children for two years. For five years Regula taught grades 1-6 in a one room school and for twelve years Regula taught grades 1-8 in a small farming village. There, Regula led a youth group and was the organist for the local church. Regula also led the church choir and served on the provincial council for religious education where she went on to lead Sunday school camps and became involved in a regional retreat center.
In 1968 when Regula was in her late 30’s she thought she would like to be a missionary teacher and so she applied with a mission society that her church supported. From there Regula applied for missionary work with the Moravian Church and was offered the choice of going to Africa or Labrador. Regula thought that Africa would be an interesting place to work but fortunately for us Regula was directed to work in Labrador. In her own words “Labrador is my home now and I’m glad, I’m really glad”, “and thankful that God directed it this way”.
When Regula arrived in Labrador one of the first people she met was Rev. Bill Peacock who was also the superintendent of the schools. Regula learned when she arrived in Canada that the Moravian church no longer was in charge of schools in Labrador but were now under the government. Which changed the school curriculum. On New Years in 1969 Regula became a member of the Moravian Church.
1968 – 1972 Regula’s first job was as a principal and school teacher where she taught grades 1-4 and special ed in Makkovik. From 1972 – 1980 Regula then went to work in North West River where she taught grade 4 and special ed and dedicated herself to the Moravian Church and since there was no regular minister in that community Regula volunteered to do the service each Sunday. While teaching in North West River, Regula met a beautiful little Inuit girl named Susie Barbour whose first words to Regula was “you pretty”! This sweet little girl melted Regula’s heart and in 1982 Regula adopted her sweet little Susie. In Regula’s words “She became my life’s joy and fulfillment of family dreams.” Susie says when she first met her mom she could only count 1, 2, 3, 7. But through all of Regula’s hard work and determination Susie learned to count, read, use the computer and show compassion for others. Susie and Regula tirelessly educated people about FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and strongly advised women not to drink when pregnant.
In 1993 Regula and Susie moved to Happy Valley where Regula became involved with various groups: The Gemeinschff which was a small group of people who gathered together usually in each other’s homes to study the Bible. On a weekly basis Regula would go to the Labrador Correctional Center to teach “her boys” about the Bible. Regula also taught children’s choir as well as an adult choir with the Moravian Church. For many years Regula served as an Acolyte in the Happy Valley Moravian Church where she performed marriages, baptisms, holy communions, funerals and also visited people in the hospital. Because Regula could read Inuktitut she would often visit Inuit elders and read to them. Regula also served the Moravian Church as a Chapel Servant and a Sunday school teacher, an organist and was a part of the world day of prayer.
Regula was also involved in the Mokami Status of Women’s Group, the Special Olympics and would often escort Susie to St. John’s for doctor’s appointments. Regula tirelessly served God by serving others. In her private life Regula received a constant stream of visitors and phone calls, she cared for those who were in need. Often Regula would take in people who had nowhere else to go such as young, unwed mothers. People would often go to her for food. During one of my visits to her home Regula displayed bags and boxes of food to hand out to those who were in want. Regula was no stranger to those in need and I have heard the phrase “ Regula was the Mother Teresa to the North”.
I have often worried about Regula and Susie and voiced my concerns to her, but she was such a strong willed, independent woman and stood her ground when it came to the choices of helping those who expressed their need for her help.
Regula is predeceased by her parents Irene and Charles Schule and brothers Ueli Schule and Hans Schule. Regula is deeply mourned by her beloved daughter Susie, and sister Elizabeth Schule in Switzerland. She will be missed by her many friends; her sisters and brothers in Christ of the Moravian Church; the inmates of the Labrador Correctional Center who held a special place in her heart; her former students in Makkovik, North West River and Happy Valley; and the whole community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Regula will be remembered for her incredible kindness, her missionary spirit, her ministry to those in need, and her love of music.
At the end of her notes Regula says, “So I say through God’s grace I had a very rich life and often muddling along and trying to catch up always held by his hand and coaxed by his tender touch."
Jesus forgave those who persecuted him
- Linda Saunders-McLean
Happy Valley Moravian Church