BY KELSEY DUNBAR
SPECIAL TO THE BANNER
GOWANSTOWN – Monday, June 24 was a moment in history for Zion United Church north of Gowanstown on Line 89.
Rev. George Russell headed up the opening of a special cornerstone that was sealed 78 years ago in August of 1935.
Rev. Russell gave a sermon including a passage on the evening’s theme: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
The cornerstone held what looked like a hymn book and a copy of The Listowel Banner, unfortunately water damage destroyed most of them. Luckily, small parts of the water logged papers were legible enough to identify what they were and the dates.
The cornerstone was sealed in 1935 when the church basement was dug out and the church was re-bricked. Perry Brisben, the church historian, explain they dug out the basement using horses with shovels attached – there were no backhoes that long ago.
At that time, it was Rev. Mohr who sealed the cornerstone. The June 24 opening at the church hosted some special guests who were alive when the stone was sealed almost 80 years ago. Marguerite Bridge was five years old, Marguerite Hartunge was eight years old, Ruth Hartunge was eleven years old, and John Hartunge was eight years old when the cornerstone was sealed. As well, Aradith Hartunge was present at the opening holding the title as the oldest member of the church.
If anyone would like to know more information about the Zion United Church, there is a copy of The History Of Zion United Church by Perry Brisben in the Listowel archives at the North Perth Public Library.