‘The bell is the oldest mass medium’, said colleague Luc Rombouts. When a bell rang, something is going on: danger, important visitors, the gate closes. In the meantime, other media have made their appearance for practical issues. But when the peace is at stake, the ancient bell is gladly returned. Peace bells come in all shapes and sizes, around 150 worldwide. The commemoration of the end of the First World War this year yielded two new peace carillons in Bel-gium - what's in a name? – the instrument for the abbey of Park (Leuven) and the carillon for Aarschot (more on this subject in this Carillon News). There are all kinds of connections between bells and peace, from Ida Gerhardt's famous poem 'Het carillon' and the proverbial 'Who shoots with bells, does not win the war' until the ceremonial strike of the peace bell at the United Nations building in New York.
Christmas is coming again. There, too, bells and peace touch each other. In heaven the bells are ringing, are they not? If the association was so strong that the ringing of bells could actually bring world peace closer ... We can try it anyway.
Peace and all good!
From now on Hylke Banning will be assisted by Hans van Heemst. Hans is – besides organist and teacher French – student at the HKU/Nederlandse Beiaardschool. We hope for a fruitful and long-term cooperation. Welcome!