Gary Davies, deputy people’s warden at Sidney’s St. Andrews Anglican Church, was among the parishioners, who lit 215 candles to remember the lives of 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves near a former residential school in Kamloops. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Gary Davies, deputy people’s warden at Sidney’s St. Andrews Anglican Church, was among the parishioners, who lit 215 candles to remember the lives of 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves near a former residential school in Kamloops. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s Anglican church rings bells 215 times to remember Indigenous children found in unmarked graves

Rector Eric Partridge of St. Andrews Anglican Church said ringing of the bell is a call to action

Parishioners at Sidney’s St. Andrews Anglican Church joined churchgoers across the region to remember the lives of 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves near a former residential school in Kamloops by ringing their church’s bell 215 times.

Rector Eric Partridge said the ringing of the bell is a call to action, but also an acknowledgement of the role that the Anglican Church played in the residential school system.

“(An) apology is not enough,” he said. “You have to act and this is a reminder to the community to remind them to put their mind not just to a group of people. These are real people, whose life ended.”

While current church members did not play part in the residential school system, the church itself did, he said.

“And we are part of the church. We are stepping forward to be allies of not just the lost children, but also their families and those who survived in the residential school system and who are still struggling with the trauma of that. It’s an important thing for us to recognize our place in that.”

RELATED: Victoria vigil honours Indigenous children buried at Kamloops residential school

Parishioners who rang the bell also lit 215 candles.

Sunday’s bell ringing in Sidney, which started at noon, was part of an effort by Anglican churches across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Comparable commemorations have also happened elsewhere in B.C. and Canada, as well as denominational boundaries.

The Catholic Church ran the former Kamloops Indian Residential School located on the territory of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation from 1890 to 1969, before the federal government assumed control of it.

“Ringing these bells today won’t make a difference in a big sense,” said Partridge, when asked earlier why he believed this action would make a difference this time around when held up against other comparable actions and the well-documented history of the residential school system. “But it is part of a journey.”

In March 2017, then Bishop Logan McMenamie of the Diocese of Vancouver Island, walked 470 kilometres from Alert Bay to Victoria, as part of efforts to recognize and reconcile the church’s history with First Nations. During his walk, McMenamie asked First Nations along the way for forgiveness for the church’s role in colonialism and permission to re-enter their lands as visitors.

“This (church bell ringing) is another step in that journey,” said Partridge.

The Anglican Church of Canada issued a formal apology for its role in the residential school system in 1993, a move which the Catholic Church has not made so far.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

Rector Eric Partridge stands outside Sidney’s St. Andrews Anglican Church, whose parishioners rang the church bell 215 times to remember the lives of 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves near a former residential school in Kamloops. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Rector Eric Partridge stands outside Sidney’s St. Andrews Anglican Church, whose parishioners rang the church bell 215 times to remember the lives of 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves near a former residential school in Kamloops. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Just Posted

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Days after students’ return to Victoria High School was delayed by a year, the province has announced some amenities that will be included in the school’s expansion project. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Child-care spots, artificial turf field, non-profit space included in Vic High expansion

SD61 now aims to welcome students back at the high school by September 2023

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read