(from left) Marina Papais, Johnny Pierro, Barbara Andrews, Diane Sandy, and Daniel Collett stand behind the new bench. Photo: Barbara Roden.

New bench and time capsule dedicated at Harmony Bell

Project unites community members, highlights shared history

Three dozen people were at the Harmony Bell project in Ashcroft on April 7, to see the dedication of a bench donated by the congregation of St. Alban’s Anglican Church and the Territory of the People. Both the bench and the site of a time capsule buried beside the Harmony Bell were blessed by Bishop Barbara Andrews of the Territory of the People.

The Harmony Bell project was the brainchild of mosaic glass artist Marina Papais and her husband, architect Daniel Collett. With the support of numerous groups, community organizations, and volunteers, it was built to commemorate the various peoples who played a part in creating Ashcroft and contributing to its growth, including First Nations people, early settlers from Europe and America, and members of the Chinese and Japanese communities.

The bench was placed so as to face the First Nations mosaic, and Elders Diane Sandy and Johnny Pierro were on hand with a welcoming song and a prayer. Pierro said that when he comes to the communities of Ashcroft and Cache Creek he always acknowledges the people who built things for us. “I think of the Chinese community, with their ranching and farming, They gave us jobs.

“We never exclude anybody in our songs and prayers.”

Andrews said that it gave her great joy to be there for the dedication. “The name Territory of the People comes from First Nations, and we have a commitment to walk with all people. I feel very proud to have our name associated here with these four panels, which symbolize our commitment to walking with all.”

Andrews blessed the bench and the site of the time capsule—which is marked with a mosaic—with holy water from a vessel which belonged to the late Jim White, a former minister at St. Alban’s who was deeply involved with First Nations in the area, as well as a keen lover of history. “It would have made Jim so happy,” said Andrews.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart spoke of her pride in the community and of what the Harmony Bell project represented, while Ashcroft mayor Barbara Roden noted that at a time when many people around the world are showing fear and resentment of others, the Harmony Bell celebrates people embracing others, and working together to create a community of which we can all be proud. She added that while a bench might seem a simple thing, it is often simple things that carry the most weight and meaning.

The Reverend Martina Duncan of St. Alban’s thanked everyone for attending the dedication, and gave special thanks to Papais and Collett for their vision in designing and creating the Harmony Bell project. After the service, attendees met at St. Alban’s for a barbecue lunch hosted by the church.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Bishop Barbara Andrews (right) addresses the crowd at the dedication of the bench and time capsule at the Harmony Bell project. Photo: Barbara Roden.

A glass mosaic marks the site of the time capsule at the Harmony Bell project. Photo: Christopher Roden.

(from left) Diane Sandy, Bishop Barbara Andrews, Marina Papais, Johnny Pierro, and Daniel Collett in front of the First Nations mosaic at the Harmony Bell.

Just Posted

“It’s much more personal, much more vicious. There’s a willingness to go low and be dirty.”

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May reflects on an election campaign like no other she’s known

Highway 1, crime and pipeline debated at Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon forum

Five candidates for the riding debated the issues Thursday in Abbotsford

Heated cross-riding clash at debate between NDP’s Nenn on stage, Conservative Fast in crowd

Candidates from different ridings show anger during Thursday’s all-candidates meeting in Abbotsford

RCMP officers recognized for fighting Ashcroft wildfire, taking down Hells Angels

Officers were recognized for fighting the 2017 Ashcroft fire and dismantling a Hells Angles ring

Advance voting in 2019 federal election begins

Voting at advance polling stations has become a popular choice in Canada over the years

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

Parents travelling with three-month-old reportedly being held in Pennsylvania

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

VIDEO: Trudeau, Singh posture for ‘progressive’ votes while Scheer fights in Quebec

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose party has been on the rise in recent polls, is campaigning in Toronto

Most Read