Bells ring out for frontline workers

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Every Monday, the bells of the churches throughout North Grenville will be ringing in support of our local frontline workers. Mayor Nancy Peckford endorsed the idea after she learned about a small group in Burritt’s Rapids who were going outside to make some noise for frontline workers every night at 7:30 pm. Burritt’s Rapids resident Jayne Couch lives in the old Methodist Church on the island, and she and her husband have fixed up the bell in the tower so they could participate in a big way. The bell had not been rung before last week in roughly 40 years. “It was always on the to do list,” Jayne says. “But for this we had to do it.”

Jayne knows that supporting frontline workers hits close to home for many in Burritt’s Rapids. Her neighbour’s daughter is a nurse in Toronto, while another boy who grew up on the island is now a postal worker.

Jayne and her husband also have a new granddaughter who was born the day after they got the bell working. “We will ring until we can physically hold her at the least,” Jayne says.

Mayor Peckford was inspired by what the small group in Burritt’s Rapids was doing, and has spread the message on social media to try and get the entire community involved. “I took that as my cue to get the churches involved,” she says. “The goal is to see if we can do it every Monday night.”

Monday, April 13, was the first day that many of the churches in North Grenville rang their bells at 7:30 pm to show their support for frontline workers. Some residents also emerged from homes as well, banging on pots and making noise to join the initiative. Mayor Peckford says frontline workers include, not just those working in hospitals, but also first responders, grocery store workers, day care workers, and those working in long term care and retirement homes. “It includes ALL essential service workers,” she says.

Mayor Peckford hopes that the initiative will pick up steam over the next few weeks, and that people will share what they are doing to show their support over social media. She encourages residents to tag her in their social media posts so they can be shared by the Municipality.

Jayne believes this effort will be great for building community. “Once you are out there, it is a great excuse to say hi to your neighbours from a safe distance,” she says.

The bell ringing and noise making will last for roughly 10 minutes every Monday night, and will continue until the state of emergency in the municipality and province is lifted.

“I want to underscore that it doesn’t take a lot of time to thank our frontline workers,” Mayor Peckford says

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