I just learned that Barb MacKerrow is dead. Barb is the widow who was taken to the cleaners to the tune of $208,000 by Father Mark Buckley. A sad a disturbing tale indeed. Buckley was a priest in the Diocese of Peterborough. He ‘borrowed’ money from Barb to open not one, but two, pet shops! An unbelievable story really (aren’t they all?!). I documented it nearly 11 long years ago in Friends in High Places. Buckley borrowed her “nest egg.” She was left with next to nothing.
Barb and I kept in touch over the years. Every few months she’d call me or I’d call her, just to say ‘hello.’
She initiated legal proceedings against the Diocese of Peterborough to recoup some of her loss. She settled for a pittance of what she lost. She had the option of fighting on but her health was failing and she was just getting too tired to continue. All she wanted was a few pennies to leave to her grand children.
I picked up the phone to call Barb today. When the number was not in service, I knew. I googled Barbara MacKerrow and obituary, and, there it was. She died 29 April 2011. She was in her 87th year. I have lost a dear and special friend.
To my knowledge Mark Buckley never attempted to settle his debt with Barb MacKerrow. I always hoped that he might somehow redeem himself. He was earning darn good money as a teacher on Calgary. I thought that just maybe some day he would think of the widow and start sending her a few dollars here and there.
I don’t believe it happened. I am quite certain Barb would have told me, and we talked just weeks ago.
There is something about this which saddens me beyond words. I suppose it matters not to Barb now, but it certainly caused her great anguish in life.
My heartfelt sympathy to Barb’s family. What an amazing and feisty lady she was. I think of Barb and I think feisty. She was much more. She was a woman of deep faith. She was kind. She was charitable. She believed in justice. And she was ever so proud of her grandchildren. A wonderful lady. It was my pleasure and privilege to know her.
Please pray for the repose of this dear lady’s soul.
May she she rest in peace.
Enough for now,
She was fortunate to have your friendship and support on her lonely journey in dealing with the aftermath of being exploited by Buckley.
Sorry for your loss..sad for the story
Sylvia: She will most certainly be in my prayers (as are you!)
…darn good money too is right…additionally as he is an administrator and working with kids, for over the last 10 years with the Calgary Public Board of Education; wonder if they know the whole story?
So sad…most likely the memory and effects of his betrayal still breaks the family’s heart and they’re wounded. Robbed of their faith in priests, not just their ‘heritage fund’.
Lord help us, and bless that dear lady Barb McKerrow. (who M. Buckley conned)
It’ll soon be 2 years since her passing.
Sylvie, May God give you continued strength and courage
to Keep up your excellent reporting.
If anyone was Googling Father Mark Buckley They’d find lots of information on him unless they didn’t know he was a priest. Do you think he’s told any one out there? Makes one go Hmmm. Any other unsuspecting widows out there he can sweet talk. Once a con man……..