Vale Ruth McCance
St Laurence House extends its profound sympathy and support to the family, friends, and loved ones of Ruth McCance, who died on 27 May 2019 in a tragic mountaineering incident in the Himalayas.
Beloved by all, Ruth was a distinguished Chairperson of St Laurence House (2010-2016) and committee member (2007-2016).
On the one year anniversary of Ruth’s death, Sydney composer Brooke Shelley released Song for Ruth, which she originally wrote in response to the news that Ruth was missing while on a trek in the Himalayas. Brooke knew Ruth through their mutual involvement at St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney.
As Chairperson, Ruth worked exceptionally hard and long for St Laurence House. Her time as Chairperson encompassed a period of major reform in the social welfare policy space in NSW. Ruth’s work with our Executive Officer and other similar organisations helped re-direct and inform the developing policy to recognise our 24/7 model of trauma informed supported care for homeless youth.
Chairing the organisation at this time, Ruth’s inspiring leadership has left a lasting legacy and it is a credit to her hard work that St Laurence House remains in the strong position it is in today.
Ruth always gave freely and positively of her time and expertise, did not judge people’s position or circumstance, was naturally empathetic and possessed great dynamism and cheerfulness. She was the consummate professional at all times, much admired and respected by all Committee members, parishioners of supporting parishes and our youth residents.
A woman of many talents, and in addition to being a keen mountaineer, Ruth was an avid sailor and jazz singer. Even after her time as a St Laurence House committee member, Ruth continued to offer support to St Laurence House, frequently performing at fundraisers with the “The Fabulous Jazz Babies”.
Ruth is missed greatly by the community of St Laurence House.