We came up with the bell idea as there is a purity about bells that reminds us of the innocence of children. As well, bells are historically associated with warnings, alarms, marking important moments, and simply pealing for the joy of connecting with the community. FASDay is all of these things.
On FASDay, 2000, even more bells and other percussion instruments were played – ranging from the first mission bell in New Zealand to the historic 56 bell carillon in Cape Town, South Africa, to tiny bells rung by school children, and wind chimes and rain sticks played by native Canadians.
Last year, on September 9, we want the noisiest, most joyful Bell Concordance ever — and you can organize one, even if right now you are the only person in your community who knows what FASD is!
You might even be able to organize the ringing of a local carillon — the largest musical instrument in existence. Even in a large, noisy city, carillon music can be heard for several blocks. There are about 600 carillons throughout the world, and we would like many more to ring during the Minute of Reflection this year.
To find out if there is a carillon near you, go to http://www.gcna.org/, the most complete and accurate listings of carillons in North America, and also check out www.cs.yale.edu/~douglas-craig/bells and http://soda.csua.berkeley.edu/~maestro/stat.htm.
Gerald Martindale, carillonneur at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church (email:firstname.lastname@example.org), can help put you in touch with a local carillonneur (carillon player), if there is one. Mr. Martindale has created a concert of international lullabies, representing some of the countries participating in FASDay, and would be pleased to share his arrangements with other international carillonneurs.
The FAS Bell Concordance is quite simple, and you can do most of the work on your phone. Is there a tower with a hand-rung bell in your community? This could be an older church, a city or county hall, state or provincial building, or part of a college or university campus. Unfortunately many church bells are now rung by computer, making it difficult to ring the bells off-schedule, and this may be the case in your community.
Find out who is in charge of getting that bell rung, and ask that person to have the bell rung for one minute at 9:09 a.m. on September 9.
You can download the FASDay information from this site and present it to this person. If this building is a church, you may wish to speak briefly to the congregation on one of the Sundays before FASDay, and explain why the bell will be ringing at 9:09 this year.
You may want to have a small program in the church or near the bell tower, for 20 minutes to a half-hour before 9:09 a.m. Notify your child’s school, friends of FASD and related organizations that you think would be interested, e.g., your local ARC (U.S.), Association for Community Living (Canada), Exchange Club, homelessness and anti-poverty coalitions, John Howard and Elizabeth Fry Societies, and every single friend or relative you can convince to come.
- Church Bells
- School Bells
- High School Orchestra
- Cow Bells
- Government Bells
- Business Door Bells
- Bells on Retail Store PA systems
No bells in your community?
- Use other musical instruments of your choice: drums, cymbals, whatever.
- One FASDay supporter shook her grandmother’s old school bell,
- A group in a small northern Canadian community approached their local fire department!
This should be a happy occasion.
Those ringing bells, or whatever else you choose, will be a powerful auditory reminder that we are all connected to the planet, and each other, and make a statement that FASD can be beaten.