Bells of Peace ring out

Bells will sound across Canada Nov. 11

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - NEWS - MONTE SONNENBERG SIM­COE RE­FORMER MSon­nen­berg@post­media.com

Sun­set next Sun­day prom­ises to be a good time to step out the back door and lis­ten care­fully.

Wher­ever you are in Nor­folk or Haldimand, chances are good you will hear dis­tant bells ring­ing.

It’s all part of the Bells of Peace cel­e­bra­tion, a Canada-wide trib­ute to the day 100 years ago when hos­til­i­ties in the First World War fi­nally ended.

“Bells call us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast and – in times of cri­sis – to come to­gether,” Rev. Bryan Robert­son, pres­i­dent and padre of the Royal Canadian Legion in Sim­coe, said in a news re­lease.

“On Nov. 11, 1918, the ring­ing of church bells erupted spon­ta­neously across the coun­try as an out­pour­ing of re­lief that four years of war had come to an end. The Bells of Peace is de­signed to em­u­late that mo­ment of remembrance.”

The Sim­coe Legion has en­listed the sup­port of lo­cal churches. The Legion also en­cour­ages any­one with a bell to ring it 100 times at 5 p.m. on Remembrance Day.

More than 619,000 Cana­di­ans en­listed in the First World War in sup­port of Great Bri­tain and the Com­mon­wealth. Nearly 66,000 died while an­other 172,000 were wounded. Of the dead, more than 250 were from Nor­folk County.

The Sim­coe Legion asks that all bells toll 100 times at five se­cond in­ter­vals. Prom­i­nent par­tic­i­pants in­clude Trin­ity Angli­can Church in down­town Sim­coe and the Car­il­lon Tower at the cor­ner of Nor­folk Street North and Wil­son Av­enue.

The Sim­coe Legion en­cour­ages any­one with a close rel­a­tive who fought in the First World War to par­tic­i­pate. Churches and or­ga­ni­za­tions that have tran­si­tioned to elec­tronic bells are asked to play a se­lec­tion of re­li­gious or pa­tri­otic mu­sic once the bell-ring­ing ends.

A lone bag­piper will play Amaz­ing Grace at Gover­nor Sim­coe Square in down­town Sim­coe after the bells fall silent.

Davy Jones, 94, of Sim­coe, has been busy in re­cent days sell­ing pop­pies on be­half of Legion Branch 79 on West Street. Jones served aboard the corvette Kam­sack 171 in the north At­lantic dur­ing the Se­cond World War. He thinks the Bells of Peace ini­tia­tive is “a great idea.”

“An aw­ful lot of peo­ple were killed in that war,” Jones said Mon­day. “And a lot of Cana­di­ans were killed in the six months lead­ing up the Ar­mistice.”

The Royal Canadian Legion, Do­min­ion Com­mand, has de­vel­oped the Bells of Peace ini­tia­tive in part­ner­ship with the govern­ment of Canada. The first bells will peal in New­found­land and Labrador while the last will ring out at sun­set in Vic­to­ria, Bri­tish Columbia.

MONTE SONNENBERG / SIM­COE RE­FORMER

Se­cond World War vet­eran Davy Jones, 94, of Sim­coe, will be lis­ten­ing for bells at sun­set on Remembrance Day. Every­one with a bell to ring is en­cour­aged to do so at sun­down Nov. 11 to mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the First World War. One of the lo­cal in­sti­tu­tions tak­ing part is Trin­ity Angli­can Church on Col­borne Street South in Sim­coe.

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