After his early education, he advanced from copyboy to reporter at newspapers in Edinburgh, Golspie and Glasgow, and then immigrated to Canada in 1957, believing his future lay in print or broadcast media.
After a year as the city life reporter on the Toronto Telegram, he changed course dramatically and was received into the Congregation of Holy Cross August 8, 1958, made his First Profession August 16, 1959, his Final Profession August 16, 1963. After philosophy studies at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) and theology studies at Holy Cross College in Washington, DC, he was ordained priest May 28, 1966.
His first assignment, to the Holy Cross Missions in Bangalore, India, was the beginning of a life-long, passionate commitment to India and its people. He learned the Tamil language and was initiated into his option for the poor by his involvement in two large projects: a YCW workers’ centre and a housing project for the homeless.
He developed a special sensitivity to people who are deaf and dedicated the next 42 years of his life to their benefit. He built a training centre for the deaf in Bangalore. Its modern equipment enabled graduates to get jobs in factories.
He began a second such centre in Karwar. His work with the deaf and the workers’ movement led to national (India) involvement with several organizations, other religious communities and non-Christian agencies. His work with and advocacy for the deaf extended into Asia.
Because of declining health he moved back to Canada. Still he was able to serve as Chaplain to the Deaf Community in the Archdiocese of Toronto from 2005 to 2010. At the same time, from 2005 up to October 2012, Father Harry ministered to the deaf of Niagara at a monthly Mass at St. Kevin’s Parish. Because of his poor health, this was not easy for him in the last several months but he carried on with what he called his sacred duty.
on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Hospice Niagara after a lengthy, courageous and serene struggle with cancer.