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the Joe-kster's Guinness® World-1st Record!

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."


Joe with Fred Merrett  (left to right)
where Fred led a March 3, 2007 B.C.G.E.H.R. Director's Workshop in Abbotsford, B.C.

News Release

(Updated  March 8, 2007)
Newest: Canadian Mennonite
"UpClose" Online Article

Joe Defries and The Possibells
As of March 13, 2006, we've OFFICIALLY obtained a new Guinness (TM) World Record
for "Solo Handbell Marathon" - Official Playing Time: 28:50:21
Start @ 08:00 PST July 5th;  End @ 12:50 PST July 6, 2005
@ the Penticton Convention Centre, Penticton, B.C., Canada

August 15, 2006: Officially published in the
2007 Guinness Book of World Records

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Joe with his Guinness World Record Certificate (July 2006 - 1 year after event)

Joe with his Grandson Elijah, born the same day as the World Record was made!
(Elijah celebrating his 1 Year Birthday, July 6, 2006)

Guinness World Record Certificate

Pictures taken July 6, 2005 after obtaining Guinness World Record
@ Penticton Convention Centre, Penticton, B.C., Canada


Event:    Guinness® World-1st Record
"Solo Handbell Marathon"

Date/Time:    Start @ 8:00 A.M. (Pacific Standard Time),
Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Location:    Trade & Convention Centre (Ballroom)
273 Power Street, Penticton, B.C., Canada

By:    Joe Defries & The "Possibells"

Media Coverage:    Broadcast Live Online over the Internet
via Streaming Video

The event was completed on July 6th, 2005 and the live link has ended.
Official Playing Time:   28:50:21 (HH:MM:SS)

Check Out Following Media Coverage:
- CBC Radio 1, July 6th on "As It Happens" - National Coverage:
New Audio from CBC, eh!
Audio Tape #1
Audio Tape #2

Audio Tape #3

Audio Tape #4

Audio Tape #5

Classical 102.1 KDFC article (San Francisco Bay Area)
(“Record-Breaking Bell-Ringing Session” article, July 7, 2005)
- Shaw Cable (Penticton & Kelowna) - video tape, July 6th & 7th;

- Vancouver Province, July 7th - Page A2:
Abbotsford grandfather sets Guinness world record
"A 54-year old Abbotsford grandfather has set a Guinness world record for
solo handbell playing, chiming in at 28 hours, 50 minutes and 21 seconds.
'Now I know why no one else has done this before, now I really know why,'
said an exhausted Joe Defries, who began his performance at 8 a.m. on
Tuesday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre where he's
participating in the Canadian National Handbell Festival.
Earlier in the morning he received news of the birth of his third grandchild.
'I'm dedicating this to him,' he said."

- Penticton Herald, July 7th - Front Page;
- Penticton Western News, July 8th;
- Abbotsford Times, July 8th - Front Page;
- Abbotsford & Mission News, July 9th

Pics taken during &  after event:
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Sponsor:    Schulmerich Handbells


Sponsor:    Bell Buggy Express

Sponsor:    G&F Financial Group


Supporting Organizations
The Ringing Link 2005
The Handbell Guilds of Canada and the B.C. Guild of English Handbell Ringers

Q: What did Joe get after he finished the marathon?
A: He won the No-Bell Piece Prize!

Recent Promo Events
B.C. Hydro Head Office, Burnaby, B.C.,  March 31, 2005
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Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, Abbotsford, B.C.,  May 14, 2005
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Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, B.C.,  May 31, 2005

as part of the "Library Square at 10" Celebration (10 Year Anniversary)
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M.E.I. - Middle School, Abbotsford, B.C.,  June 2, 2005

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Middle School:  Grades 6, 7 & 8

Middle School:  Kindergarten to Grade 5


Pacific Academy - High School, Surrey, B.C.,  June 10, 2005
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High School:  Grade 7

High School:  Grade 10

Video Clips
Solo:  Jesus Loves Me  (1.4M)
'Executive Summary'!
  The Amazing Bell Race  (730k)
Schulmerich Handbells - 4 Octave Scale  (700k)

Congratulations, Ryan!
Biola University Grad

Pomp And Circumstance  (2.7M)
YouTube Video Link

1. This record event was held in conjunction with the Canadian “Ringing Link” National Conference of Handbell Players (being held at the Penticton Conference Centre July 6-9, 2005);
2. The entire record was broadcast live online over the internet via streaming video - Stay Tuned for further details @
www.Possibells.com !
3. An official Certificate has been received from Guinness World Records;
4. Handbells used: Joe Defries' own set of 4-Octave Schulmerich Handbells.

Biography of Joe Defries
I've played handchimes and handbells for 25 years - starting in Cranbrook, B.C. and most recently as the Director of Handbells at the South Delta Baptist Church (Tsawwassen) and the West Abbotsford Mennonite Church. Aside from “solo” handbell performances at several Lower Mainland Vancouver events (schools, business and Toastmasters events, retirement centres, hospitals & Churches), I 'ring' as a substitute player for the Calvin Presbyterian Church (Abbotsford).

Guinness® Guidelines
The Guinness® World Record guidelines for this event are as follows:
- As it is a new music category record (i.e. world-first attempt), I was required to play for a minimum of 24 hours non-stop;
- One 15-minute break is allowed for each 8-hour period;
- No music piece can be repeated within any 4-hour period;
- Each piece must be a published piece, to be played for a minimum of 2 minutes;
- A maximum of 30 seconds is allowed after each piece for setup of the next piece.

The primary goal of this record event was to raise the awareness of handbells worldwide. All profits from this event will go to the B.C. Guild of English Handbell Ringers (BCGEHR) to help them with plans for the International Symposium in Brisbane, Australia (August 2006).

My secondary goal is to promote humour around the world, through my web site www.joe-ks.com - after all, everyone needs a laugh!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Where did you get the name "Possibells"?
A: One of my mother's favourite songs was "Nothing Is Impossible", combined with inspiration from Bible verses Luke 1:37 and Mark 10:27.

Q: What do you think will be the greatest challenge about the marathon ring?
A: Running the marathon itself! This isn't an exercise for precise playing of the most complicated handbell solo pieces (although Guinness does require  an acceptable standard of playing) - it's about how I don't "burn myself out" in the first few hours... I need to to prepare for the event in several ways to ensure that I don't end up with carpal tunnel syndrome and have to cut short the Record event.

Q: Have you received any tips from present
Guinness® World Record holders?
A: If anyone out there has any tips for me, please email your tips to me!

Thursday, March 31, 2005 - Burnaby, B.C., Canada
    12:00 noon to 1:00 P.M.    B.C. Hydro, Lobby, Edmonds Building

Saturday, May 14, 2005 - Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    2:00 to 4:00 P.M.    Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - "Library Square At Ten" Cross-Cultural Celebration
        @ Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    12:30 to 1:00 P.M.        Seniors Day Celebration, Courtyard
    2:00 to 2:30 P.M.         Outreach Services

Thursday, June 2, 2005 - Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    12:25 to 12:45 P.M.    M.E.I. - Middle School - Grades 6-7-8
    1:15 to 1:35 P.M.        M.E.I. - Middle School - Kindergarten to Grade 5


Concerts & Promo Tour Events
Prior to the World Record Event on July 5, 2005
(all times are PST - Pacific Standard Time)

Friday, June 10, 2005 - Surrey, B.C., Canada
    1:15 to 2:00 P.M.    Pacific Academy - High School

Sunday, June 12, 2005 - Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    10:00 A.M.    West Abbotsford Mennonite Church

Sunday, July 3, 2005 - Penticton, B.C., Canada
    10:30 A.M                     Grace M.B. Church Service
    2:30 to 4:30 P.M.        Cherry Lane Shopping Centre

Monday, July 4, 2005 - Penticton, B.C., Canada
    1:00 to 4:00 P.M.        Cherry Lane Shopping Centre

Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - Trade & Convention Centre, Penticton, B.C., Canada
    8:00 A.M. to 12:50 P.M., Wednesday, July 6, 2005       Guinness World-1st
Record for Joe Defries & The Possibells!
                NB: Entire Record Event was Broadcast LIVE online over the internet via streaming video!

Concerts & Tours
After the World Record Event
(all times are PST - Pacific Standard Time)

Sunday, July 23, 2005 - Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    10:00 A.M. Service        Calvin Presbyterian Church
Google Satellite Directions to Calvin Presbyterian Church!

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            2597 Bourquin Crescent East, Abbotsford, B.C., V2S 1Y6

Sunday, August 7, 2005 - Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    10:00 A.M. Service        West Abbotsford Mennonite Church
Google Satellite Directions to WAMC!

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31216 King Road, Abbotsford, B.C., V2T 6C2


Monday, September 5, 2005 - "Canadian Mennonite" monthly magazine,
    Volume 9, No. 17        "UpClose" Online Article

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 - "Overtones" journal for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers - upcoming article in news section...
    Details & link will be posted when "availa-bell"!
        Thanks to J.R. Smith, Editor, Overtones

Friday, September 30, 2005: Handbell Solo Performance @ Fraser Valley Gleaners 2005     Celebration/Fundraiser Banquet, 6:30 PM PST, Columbia Bible College, 2940 Clearbrook Rd., Abbotsford, B.C., Canada        Fraser Valley Gleaners

Sunday, December 18, 2005: Handbell Solo Performance @ East Ridge Community Fellowship: "A Dessert Theatre", 6:30 PM PST, 22610 - 116th Ave., Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 (10:00 AM to noon): Handbell Solo Performance for the Abbotsford Learning Plus group, 2478 McCallum Road, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 (2:00 PM to 3:00 PM): Handbell Solo Performance @ Crescent Gardens, 1222 King George Highway, White Rock, B.C., Canada

Friday & Saturday, April 28-29, 2006:  Handbell Solo Performance & 2 Youth Group Workshops @ BCGEHR 'Spring Ring 2006' conference, Coast Hotel, 20393 Fraser Highway, Langley, B.C., Canada

Saturday, June 10, 2006 (7:00 PM):  Handbell Solo Performance  with the  B.C. Bronze Handbell Group, Calvin Presbyterian Church, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada

Monday, June 19, 2006 (5:30 PM):  Handbell Solo Performance, Garden Park Tower, 2825 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada

Saturday, August 26 (7:00 PM):  Handbell Solo Performance, 50th Anniversary of the Ootsa Lake Bible Camp, Ootsa Lake, B.C., Canada

Friday, September 8, 2006 (~ 3:00 PM):  Handbell Solo Performance, Hallmark Assisted Living, 3055 Princess Street, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada


Even Stuffed Animals watched the Guinness World-1st Record event in Hotlanta (Atlanta), Georgia!

Good Luck Wishes from the 'net!


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