Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his soj
ourn in Northern Ireland'

A colorful community event in Belfast's
most historic cemetery

Jon Kennedy  

JONAL ENTRY 1296 | JUNE 29 2013

Jesus . . . asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."

— from Matthew 16, from today's
Orthodox lectionary readings

Diary: On Monday afternoon the Stothers and I drove to County Donegal, over the border in the Republic, for a holiday at a self-catering cottage, my first experience of that type of holiday as they say here instead of vacation. There are some photos from the trip on my Google+ page and if I have time or too many other events do not intervene, I hope to write about it here later. But first, I'm backing back up to Monday morning for today's post about a ceremony and celebration that morning at the Shankill Cemetery. My friend pastor Jack Lamb asked me to attend with my press card in my cap to cover it, so (though I don't have a press card with me and the ones I left in California are 30 or more years old) that's what I did. The coverage follows.

The event, which Mr. Lamb (we always referred to our pastors as "Mister," not 'Reverend," in my Presbyterian days) helped put on, was the dedication of a new professionally sculpted or engraved plaque in the Shankill district's most historic site, a cemetery that has links to Saint Patrick himself (it also is called the most ancient site in all of Belfast). Though there was a light rain ("as usual," as Tony Macaulay would say) in the morning, there was a good turn out for the show, which reminded me of patriotic celebrations in my Pennsylvania childhood.

The stills above capture many of the morning's highlights, beginning with the plaque itself. The cemetery also commemorates the local men who died and were injured in the battle of the Somme, one of the most deadly battles of World War 1. There is also a statue in the cemetery/park of Queen Victoria, the monarch who reigned for most of the nineteenth century and presided over the golden age of the British Empire.

In the video that follows, I'm especially partial to the portion with the trained owl, something I never got that close to before in my 71 years. That's what we in the industry used to call a "teaser," an attempt to induce more to watch the video. I'm unaware that I've ever gotten this close to the grim reaper before either, but I might have without noticing; God knows (literally). And for that matter, I never interviewed a stilt walker before, so there may be many new things for me still to explore.

Click the > on the video above to play it. After the video launches, you can double-click the screen to enlarge it to full-screen. If your browser cannot open the video in Windows Media format, you can try it on YouTube, here.

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Scripture: Peter's confession is the prototype of the profession that every Christian is called to make. And Jesus' confirmation of it, in C.S. Lewis's words, makes Him either the Lord, a liar, or a lunatic. Who do you say He is.

§     §     §

Please support my mission to Northern Ireland in your prayers. You can read my overview of this undertaking here. My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

Previous blog:
Diary update and more poetry thoughts

Report on latest NTAMHS Meeting

Glotube videos



Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.

— Oscar Ameringer


. . . a reading of the false gospels sends you back to the true ones.

— C.S. Lewis

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