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Members of a German religious order working on a remote Australian mission are removed for internment during WW2. Brother Blacksmith, usually the butt of jokes, is left behind as too innocuous to be a security risk. When the Mission implodes without its usual stern leadership group, the blacksmith Tobias is drawn/pushed to leave his forge by two Irish nuns. They make him ring the bell and this assembles the community, but then there must be a Mass, only there is no one to take it. Tobias' response steers the Mission away from riot and self-destruction, saving the situation. He does this unwillingly and with his unintentional humour. When the Bishop returns he is appalled to discover the congregation has been laughing in church and moves to send Tobias away, but the congregation with new found voice will not let their blacksmith go.
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