Some Bethany History Trivia
The Silver Trowel
The corner stone of the new church was laid by Col. Charles Clarke who served as Reeve of Elora from 1859 to 1868 and in 1871 was offered the Liberal nomination to represent the Centre Riding of the County of Wellington in the Provincial legislature at Toronto. He held this position for about twenty years, late becoming Clerk of the Assembly. During his term as Member of Parliament, the Bethany Church was built and he was invited to lay the corner stone. For this, he was presented with a sterling silver trowel, beautifully engraved and bearing this inscription:
Presented to Charles Clarke, Esq., M.P.P.
at the laying of the Corner Stone
of the Methodist Church,
Bethany June 27th, 1876
It has a bone handle and an overall length of about 14 inches and a width of 4 inches. Mrs. Clarke, the former Rose Halley, sent this trowel to the Bethany Church in December of 1951 and it was encased and receded into the wall in the vestibule of the church by Russell Airdrie in 1967.
The clock was presented when the church was built by Mr. McMillan, the school teacher. In 1923 the roof was blown off the church in a great windstorm but the clock kept ticking away. For many years it hung on the wall in the church hall but did not keep good time. Recently it has been overhauled by Harvey Mauer and refinished by Agnes Dunbar and has found its rightful place on the wall at the back of the church. Harvey Giles looks after the winding of it.
The Hymn Board
The Hymn Board was made by Russell Duncan and W. Stoneman of Elora and was available for the 75th Anniversary of this Church building as were The Communion Table, a memorial to the pioneer members of this congregation; The Pulpit, a gift of the Dunbar family; the Pulpit Chairs, donated by the Elora congregation and refinished by W. Stoneman; the Offering Plates, made by Ernest Howse; donations of money from Mr. C.A. Burt and others for carpeting and the new Electric Organ.