The Treaty of Ghent, which restored peace between Great Britain and the United States, was signed on Dec. 24, 1814, at about 4 p.m. in Ghent, Belgium.
“From our point of view, it’s the most successful treaty in history,” said Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum board chair Brian Heaslip.
The special bell-ringing commemoration is supported by both the museum and the Port Colborne–Wainfleet Clergy Fellowship.
The five churches in Port Colborne with working bells will all be participating in a 4 p.m. bell-ringing expected to last five minutes, said Heaslip.
A couple of churches in Wainfleet will also be participating.
And it’s expected that others — including individuals — also chime in with whatever bells they may have.
“The point we’d like to get across to the public is … we’re celebrating 200 years of peace,” Heaslip said.
The event has been spearheaded by Heritage Arts Legacy of Fort Erie, a 10-year-old binational group promoting cross-border history, and which is credited with recently getting Canada's 1812 Graveside Project to recognize 41 Fort Erie War of 1812 soldiers.
“We hope to make this a world happening,” said the group’s Ruby Smith, noting there will be anniversary bells ringing across Canada, the U.S., Ireland, The Netherlands and Australia.
Some requests for support, however, have been turned down, Smith said, because of its Christmas Eve occasion.
“But those guys weren’t too busy to sign (the treaty), so we can’t be too busy to ring a bell,” she said Monday.
Heritage Arts Legacy of Fort Erie will unite with Royal Canadian Legion Branch 71 in Fort Erie to ring a historical bell that resides at the legion on Garrison Rd. at 4:14 p.m., a bell that once hung atop the former St. John School in Fort Erie in the 1850s.
Smith wants everyone with a bell to join in Wednesday’s celebration and in honour of the soldiers who fought in the war.
“We say because of those veterans and others like them that Canada was born.”
Because the Treaty of Ghent following its signing required delivery to North America then further ratification by both governments, the War of 1812 itself came to an official end Feb. 18, 1815.