Inspired by the response at last November's bell-ringing, Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Whonnock again invited neighbours to help the ring the steeple bell on Remembrance Day. Last year, we rang it 100 time to mark the centenary of the end of World War II. This year, we rang it 101 times as a plea for peace. Everyone took a turn or two after people representing various aspects of war service and peace-making had been introduced and lead the line to the bell.
There were those served - represented by two men, ages 20 and 23, who were exactly the age of so many who left Whonnock to enlist in World War I and since; and we were so privileged to have a 92 year-old World War II veteran who drove wounded soldiers between docked troop ships and hospitals in Halifax as a member of the Canadian Women's Army Corps.
There were those who had to resist - represented by a member of Holy Spirit parish whose mother and grandmother had been couriers in the Polish Resistance in Warsaw and eventually been sent to prison camp. Representing both innocent children caught in war and the hope that reconciliation can happen even if difficult, there was a man whose childhood memories include planes in the air and tanks on the streets in Germany, who made his way from east to west just before the Berlin Wall was erected, little imagining it would come down in any of our lifetimes.
We were honoured to have the imam and the president of the mosque next door come to ring with us as a gesture of peace.
The new vicar at Holy Spirit, Rev. Miranda Sutherland, lead a plea for peace saying "Let there be peace on earth" and the participants replied "And let it begin with me". The talented young musician from Holy Spirit played reflective violin music during the silence which followed the 101 bell-ringings, and participants left silently in peace and contemplation.