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Restoration or the Windows

In the early morning hours of November 1st, 2001 following a night of Halloween pranks and nuisance fires, the volunteer fire department of Lunenburg was called to extinguish a small fire at historic St. John's Church.

The department responded within minutes and promptly focused its attention on a small blaze that appeared to have its sources at the base of the southwest exterior tower.

"It didn't seem like much," says Reverend Irving Letto of St. John's who was on site from the time the fire department arrived, "it seemed to everyone that everything was under control. In fact, at one point, it looked like the fire fighters had succeeded in putting the fire out."

With the bell tower threatening to collapse, Fire Chief Terry Conrad, a parishioner of St. John’s, knew that he had to get water to the main entrance somehow. The only option was through the windows. As he gave the order in a hesitant voice, he watched as his fire team used axes to smash through the colourful windows.

After the fire, ashes were sifted through to salvage any remains of the glass that could be reused in the original windows or serve as reference for reproduction.

Sattler’s Stained Glass Studio Ltd. is an independently owned business located in West Lahave, Nova Scotia. Norbert Sattler, owner of the established business, was trained as a glass artist in Europe. He and his wife, Helga, moved to Nova Scotia in 1993. They developed their business now known as Sattler’s Stained Glass Studio.

A skilled staff would be nothing less than essential. Working with photos from parishioners and locals along with chards of glass and sketches, the windows of St. John’s were restored.

 

In the fall of 2003, the windows were temporarily placed back in the church to be approved by the Restoration Committee and properly fit into the newly constructed window frames. Parishioners were given the opportunity to view the newly constructed and restored stained glass windows back in St. John’s for the first time in two years.

 

The windows have been removed so Phase II construction can continue without threat of damage. The windows are currently in storage until 2005 when they will be returned to St. John’s.

Most of the windows of St. John’s were donated from individuals and families. Thank you to those people who contributed to the legacy of their family window.

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