Issac O. Stringer

Isaac Stringer (d.1934, aged 68).

Archbishop Stringer’s story is an epic of the Canadian Church. The early years of his ministry were spent in the Diocese of McKenzie River as a missionary to the Inuit people of Herschel Island, where he translated the gospels into the indigenous language. In 1902, warned of eye trouble, he accepted an invitation to be Bishop of Whitehorse and was consecrated in St. John’s Cathedral by Archbishop Matheson. In 1905 he was elected Bishop of Rupert’s Land , and became Metropolitan in 1931.

Stringer is known as “the Bishop who ate his boots.” In 1909, on a visit to the Arctic, he attempted to return to Dawson City by a shortcut over the Rockies. Unfortunately, the weather turned foul, and the small party quickly ran out of food. Because the game animals had already migrated, they weren’t able to trap or hunt anything. The bishop’s diary records: “Thursday, October 21 – Breakfast of sealskin boots, soles and tops boiled and toasted. Soles better than tops.”