Meet an Alaskan Bell Ringer

Meet an Alaskan Bell Ringer

[great big story]

On a remote Alaskan island chain, ringing church bells involves more than simply pulling a rope. At the Holy Ascension Cathedral in Unalaska, Alaska, there are multiple bells, many strings, and one highly trained bell-ringer. And for the past 35 years, that conductor—Okalena Patricia Lekanoff Gregory—has been sounding the many bells at the cathedral. Years ago, Gregory’s father taught her the technique—which requires a kind of dance in rhythm—that he learned from his godfather. Now, she’s passing the tradition on to her daughter and great nieces, an honor that she is proud to share with her faith and her community.

Vocabulary chunks to learn after watching the video :

• It’s not as easy as it looks
• It feels like a dance to me
• The church is an iconic place
• I’ve been ringing the bells for 35 years
• Go up a flight of steep stairs
• Step up onto the platform
• There are only a handful of people who know how to ring the bells
• No written music
• I’m teaching my daughter
• To pass on my dad’s legacy
• It’s an honor

 

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