St. John’s stands on beautiful grounds in the picturesque village of Craighurst in the township of Oro-Medonte, located on the northwestern shores of Lake Simcoe. The church has a very active congregation and won first prize in the “Churches” category of the International Ploughing Match for a garden sculpture using farming implements. Since then, it has looked for other ways to add to the interest and attractive character of the church grounds.
Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations this year provided a great opportunity to mark the occasion by building a floral clock. It has a diameter of 3.6 metres with foundations constructed from large pieces of Canadian Shield granite. The stones was brought from a blasting site near Bracebridge, Ont. by members of the congregation who were told they were going on a day’s mystery outing; their only requirements were steel-capped boots and a strong back.
The waterproof vault that holds the mechanical drive for the clock’s hands was set in concrete in the centre and a cable was laid from the vault to an electronic control inside the church. The vault is covered by a large circular panel with a red maple leaf motif.
The dates of confederation and the establishment of St. John’s were inscribed on pieces of flat stone in the outside ring of the clock face. Rich soil was obtained from a nearby farm with the understanding that it was well aged so that it would not signal its presence to the immediate neighbourhood with its natural fragrance. Begonias, marigolds and creeping phlox were planted by members of the congregation and the Sunday School.
Since its dedication, the clock has survived changeable weather, a hail storm, a resident frog, and a hearty rendering of “Oh Canada” during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was beautifully catered by the Anglican Church Women. It will hopefully remain as a unique and lovely reminder of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations.
Submitted by Rosemary Walton, the parish administrator of the Parish of Craighurst and Midhurst.
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