This afternoon my blogging buddy Paul Wilkinson and I had a serendipitous meeting in Memorial Park in beautiful Port Hope, Ontario.
This weekend the town is hosting a Memorial Celebration to commemorate the life of Joseph Scriven, best known for writing the lyrics to the popular hymn What A Friend We Have In Jesus. Scriven's life was marked by tragedy. After leaving Ireland following the tragic death of his fiancee on the eve of their wedding, Scriven settled in Port Hope, about 20 miles south of my hometown of Peterborough.
A monument to Scriven has been moved several times and it now stands in Memorial Park, complete with a new plaque that was unveiled today. The Honourable David C. Onley, The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and his wife Ruth Ann were present and David presided over the unveiling.
David and Ruth Ann are long-time friends of mine and David represents the Queen of England (see photo) at a variety of functions here in Ontario. He also champions the cause of disabled people who require greater levels of accessibility than others. David himself gets around in a motorized scooter. Not only does he represent the Queen well but he also is a committed Christian who takes opportunities to share his faith. His wife Ruth Ann is an accomplished soloist and is often present with David at functions like today's.
It was exciting to see Joseph Scriven, a godly, Christian man, get recognized in such a public forum. The ceremony was very tastefully done and many other events are taking place today and tomorrow. You can check out the happenings here on this web site.
George Hamilton IV (pictured), renowned country singer from Nashville, heard about the celebrations taking place this weekend and asked if he could participate...at his own expense. George, along with the Salvation Army Band, led the attendees in a rousing rendition of What A Friend We Have In Jesus. Thank you, George, for your desire to add your classiness to this event.
My friend, Paul Wilkinson, has become a very prolific blogger over at Thinking Out Loud. Be sure to check out his frequent, thought-provoking posts here. We had a good visit during the celebration.
And...don't forget that we have a wonderful friend in Jesus, the One who gave His life for our salvation.
POST SCRIPT: Blogging buddy Paul Wilkinson has now added a post concerning Joseph Scriven to his Thinking Out Loud blog. Check it out here!