1975 Centennial Banner

This banner celebrates the centennial of the formation in 1875 of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Centennial Year, 1975

George Ferguson's beautiful book "Signs and Symbols in Christian Art" was the source of research for the design on this banner. Mrs. John Gillespie Jr. was the designer of the banner.

Part of the following text is taken from this book.

Since the beginning of time man has used the sign and symbol as the outward and visible form through which is revealed the inward and invisible reality that moves and directs the soul of man,

The touch of a hand, the light of the eyes, the radiance of a face are symbols of love far more expressive than words. A single tear coursing down the cheek, reveals a depth of sorrow words could never express.

Goodness is an act, a labour in kindness and gentleness and sacrifice of self in the service of others.

These are symbols men have always understood. There are no words for them.

The early Christian saw God in everything. In God he "lived and moved and had his being". It followed quite naturally that, in his eyes, everything was symbolic of God and he attached religious and spiritual meaning to all he observed.

Since earliest times, therefore, the Christian faith has been rich in symbolism. The lamb, the sacrificial animal of the Jewish faith, was offered on the altar as a propitiation for our sin. Christ was identified as the Lamb of God because the offering of himself upon the Cross resembled this act of atonement. The Cross symbolizes God's love for man in the sacrifice of His Son for the sins of the world.

The theme of the Banner is "Remembrance, Renewal and Response".

The red background of the first panel signifies sacrifice and represents the passion of Christ. His Death on the Cross, the supper of bread and wine He had with His disciples. On the right-hand side, in the small panels, the grapes symbolize the blood of Christ; the chalice, the cup which He drank; the spears, those that wounded Him.

The green of the second panel signifies re-awakening or re-birth. The font and dove are
symbols of baptism by water and the Holy Spirit. - In Latin the word for apple and evil are identical. Thus follows the legend that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden was an apple. The gourd is prominent in the story of Jonah and because of this association has come to symbolize the Resurrection. Together with an apple, the gourd, as a symbol of the Resurrection, is the antidote for the apple, the symbol of evil or death. The dolphin frequently represents the whale in the story of Jonah which in turn led to it, too, as a symbol of the Resurrection. The sun is symbolic of Christ. Malachi 4:2 "But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings."

The last panel "Response" is on a background of purple signifying the omnipotence of God. The deep religious meaning of the heart is expressed in Samuel 16:7 "man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart". The flaming heart is the heart set on fire for Christ. The letters IHS are the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek. In the right-hand panel, the pear symbolizes Christ's love for mankind. In the centre is the centennial version of the burning bush, symbol of the Presbyterian Church. The cherry signifies the sweetness of character derived from good works.

The border is composed of a variety of leaves and fruits. The trefoil or clover symbolizes the Trinity. There is a legend that the Cross was made from the wood of the aspen. When the tree realized for what purpose it was being used, its leaves began to tremble with horror and have never ceased. Lily-of-the-valley, one of the first flowers of the year, announces the return of Spring. Its whiteness and sweetness of scent symbolize the Advent of Christ.

Members of the Crescent Circle are:

Irene Alton, Wilma Courtenay, Jean Croft, Donna Currie, Connie Gillespie, Janet Hassan, Betty Larter, Irene Locker

Helen McGillivary, Lorraine McGillivary, Marnie Milne, Dorothy Morgan, Gladys Robson, Joyce Runge, Janet Scott, Hazel Smith