In the tower of North Delta’s Trinity Lutheran Church, the broken bell sits silently. (Grace Kennedy photo)

B.C. church bell to toll again in memory of First World War

Public invited to help ring the bell 100 times to mark 100 years since the armistice was signed

To celebrate the end of the Great War, the men of North Delta rang the bells at Trinity Lutheran Church bells so hard that one cracked. Now, 100 years later, the church is planning to recreate that day and have the bells ring out again.

This year, at sundown on Sunday, Nov. 11, bells across the country will ring out 100 times in memory of those who fought in the First World War, and North Delta’s Trinity Lutheran Church will be one of them.

The event will be an opportunity for people to “ring a bell for peace in the midst of an often conflicted and violent world,” Rev. Jennifer Wilson said.

“It’s also a way for us as a congregation to celebrate those who have come before us, and the history that our community has in Annieville here in North Delta,” she said.

Residents are invited to visit Trinity Lutheran Church (1040 River Rd.) at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 to listen to the bell ring, and even take part in pulling the bell rope themselves.

Trinity Lutheran Church parishioner Diane Hansen shows the bell that cracked as young men hit it with a metal rod to celebrate the end of the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918. It’s smaller companion bell is set to ring out 100 times at sundown this Remembrance Day to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice. (Photo submitted)<

Although the church is primarily looking for children to help re-create the bell ringing of 100 years ago, “anyone can ring the bell,” Wilson said. “It doesn’t need to be a church member, or even a church-goer, or even Christian. It’s open to whomever lives nearby who would like to saunter over and participate in something that’s a piece of history for our city.”

The Trinity Lutheran Church has a particularly strong connection to the history of the First World War. In 1918, the residents of Annieville had heard rumours that the Great War would soon be over — and when the official announcement came, the church’s congregation was ready.

Legend has it that local boys ran up the church steps to pull the ropes for the two bells inside the church tower. Across the hill and over the water, the bells rang to signal the end of the unprecedented conflict.

It was a joyous noise, one bell ringing higher and the other lower, but it wasn’t loud enough. Some of them climbed into the ceiling of the church to get right up next to the bells, and begin hitting them with hammers and metal bars.

Eventually, the bigger bell cracked.

That bell has been sitting silent in the tower of the church for the last 100 years. In March of 2017, the church applied for a heritage grant to replace the broken bell but was denied the money.

RELATED: North Delta’s Trinity Lutheran Church seeks to honour for its historic bell for Canada’s 150th birthday

Although some parishioners wanted to have the larger bell ring out again on Remembrance Day, the crack means it won’t make any noise. But that won’t stop the church’s smaller bell ringing out 100 times at sundown.



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