General News

Bells of peace ring in Shelburne

November 15, 2018   ·   0 Comments

  Written by Marni Walsh

  Those who were listening in Shelburne, at 4:56 pm on Sunday, November 11th, would have heard the bell from the Town Hall tower toll 100 hundred times. It rang to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice and the end of World War I.

     At the going down of the sun on November 11th, communities across Canada marked the end of the “Great War” to emulate that moment in 1918, when church bells across Europe rang out with joy and reverence as four years of horror finally ended.

     Members of Shelburne’s Royal Canadian Legion gathered outside to listen to the bells and commemorate the 650,000 Canadians who served, the 66,000 killed, and the more than 172,000 wounded. The banners of local veterans, many lost, all loved, waved high and proud in the bitter breeze of November throughout the downtown core as the sun set on Remembrance Day.

     So too, did the bells ring at Parliament Hill, and at hundreds of other ceremonies across the country, to honour Canada’s veterans and the sacrifices they made for freedom and peace.

     The Bells of Peace initiative was developed by The Royal Canadian Legion in partnership with the Government of Canada. Legion Branches across the country worked with organizations and schools to make the national initiative local.

          For Shelburne Legion President, Lesa Peat, it is personal. Her grandfather William Roberts Stevenson is her Home Town Hero, as is her great grandfather William Gordon Stevenson, who was a fighter pilot in WWI.  After the war, Ms. Peat says her great grandfather felt it was his duty to continue to serve his country and took a clerical position with the Headquarters of the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II.  She recalls, “The family joke was that he flew a desk for his final tour.”

     In Shelburne, Town staff employee Rob Mathews rang the bells as the Executive of Branch 220 stood below their flags to observe the momentous tribute. Lesa Peat said, “I believe we should honour all the brave men and women that made our country what it is today.” She hopes hearing the bells ring 100 times, made people stop and think about the importance of World War I.

     May we always honour them with peace: “At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.” – For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon.



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