Faith In Peace
The Burlington Civic Chorale for their 25th anniversary concert season (2018/2019) commissioned and premiered a new composition, Faith in Peace, by Canadian composer Mark Sirett.
As a young Canadian diplomat, Lester B. Pearson served at Canada House in London from 1939 to 1942. One morning, he joined British colleagues to walk through an area demolished by overnight air raids. He came upon Alice Street, where one wall still stood. It bore a plaque commemorating the young men from the street who had been killed in the First World War (“the war to end all wars”). Yet their own family homes were bombed just 30 years later, in another war that engulfed all of Europe.
In 1957, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his part in forming the United Nations Emergency Force and helping to resolve the Suez crisis, Pearson referred to that experience. His story and other comments from his Nobel Prize speeches have been woven into the text for Faith in Peace.
On a shattering night of fire and death,
The humble dwellings lay in rubble charred.
A single wall remained amidst the smoke,
Bearing a tablet smeared with ash and tar:
“Sacred to the memory of the men of Alice Street
Who died for peace during the Great War.”
Our dreams of peace are far too small.
We seek our own peace, brought about in our own way.
We conquer space but fail the test of conquering ourselves,
and our fears, each day
Peace demands more than our self-serving schemes;
She seeks our resolve, she seeks our best.
May we never lose our faith in peace
With our in-person concert season cancelled due to COVID-19, we pivoted and offered a virtual experience instead. Home Town Holidays, was our first virtual performance, a set of six Christmas carols and songs blended with memorable images of Burlington at its holiday best.
Continuing with our virtual choir, the first half of 2021 was spent recording six folk and popular tunes for our spring virtual concert, “The Road Home”, illustrated with photography from our own BCC members.
The Road Home can be enjoyed below from the BCC Playlist.