Cracked bell’s com­pan­ion to ring out for peace Sun­day

The Province - - NEWS - DENISE RYAN dryan@post­

On Nov. 14, 1918, a few days af­ter the sign­ing of the ar­mistice that ended the bloody bat­tles of the First World War, a group of joy­ful young peo­ple climbed the bell tower of Trin­ity Lutheran Church in Delta to cel­e­brate.

Ap­par­ently the bells weren’t ring­ing loudly enough.

“The lo­cal neigh­bour­hood was so ex­cited that they climbed up in the bell tower and banged on it with ham­mers and other im­ple­ments so hard that it cracked,” said Pas­tor Jen­nifer Wil­son. “Their en­thu­si­asm for the end of the war led to the de­struc­tion of the bell.”

The cracked bell still hangs in the church’s bel­fry, a silent re­minder of all that was lost so many years ago.

“It’s very mean­ing­ful to us,” said Horst Flemig, 80, a parish­ioner with Trin­ity Lutheran for 50 years.

Its sur­viv­ing com­pan­ion, how­ever, will peal 100 times at sun­set on Nov. 11, as part of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion’s Bells of Peace, which asks churches to ring bells across Canada to com­mem­o­rate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Joyce Flemig, 77, said the con­gre­ga­tion tried to raise money to re­move the bell and have it placed out­side as a his­tor­i­cal marker, but the cost was too high.

“It’s very ex­pen­sive,” said Joyce. (An ap­pli­ca­tion for a her­itage grant from the B.C. govern­ment was re­jected, said for­mer con­gre­ga­tion mem­ber Diane Hansen.)

The bell that sur­vived the ex­cite­ment of 1918 still rings ev­ery Sun­day.

“The bell to me is a call­ing for the peo­ple to come, and know­ing the his­tory of the cracked bell makes it all the more per­ti­nent given the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the war this year,” said Flemig.

“We’re invit­ing fam­i­lies to come and ring the bell in cel­e­bra­tion and in hope for world peace now,” said Wil­son. “We are invit­ing peo­ple of all ages, all cul­tures, all faiths to come and ring it.”

Wil­son said the church has in­vited mem­bers of all churches and peo­ple of all ages to join the con­gre­ga­tion.

“Our con­gre­ga­tion seeks to be about ring­ing bells of peace all the time, and this is part of the his­tory of our com­mu­nity as a place where peo­ple can grow and learn about and cel­e­brate the of­fer­ing of peace.”

Flemig, who will be help­ing any­one who comes on Sun­day said, “I grew up in Ger­many and lost my Dad and un­cles and grand­fa­ther be­cause of the war and I think it’s a great thing that Canada does ev­ery year to com­mem­o­rate the ar­mistice. It is very mean­ing­ful to me.”

The pub­lic is in­vited to join the con­gre­ga­tion of Trin­ity Lutheran Church at 4:15 p.m. on Sun­day to par­tic­i­pate.


Joyce and Horst Flemig, along with the en­tire con­gre­ga­tion of Trin­ity Lutheran Church in Delta, are invit­ing ev­ery­one to come out Sun­day and ring the bell at the church to com­mem­o­rate 100 years since the end of the First World War.

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