If all goes to plan, the bell at St Anne’s in Triabunna, 80 kilometres northeast of Hobart, will be ringing again in time for the church's 150th anniversary in March. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.
Donated to the local parish 130 years ago, the bell has remained silent in recent years due to concerns about cracks in the tree from which it hung.
The tree was finally taken down in June, and now the parish is working with a local engineering firm to create a free-standing, metal structure.
Church sacristan Louise Izzard says that the re-hanging of the bell is being eagerly awaited.
“The day we took the bell down, my four-year-old granddaughter was with me,” Mrs Izzard said. “The bell rang just once as they moved it a bit, and she said: ‘What’s that sound mean?’
Mrs Izzard explained it was the sound of the bell.
“And she said, ‘Oh, I love that!’ She is so excited that we’re going to have a bell that rings. Every Sunday that she’s there, she wants to put money in the little donation tin to fund the bell.”
For the first 20 years of the small church’s life, the congregation was without a bell.
Then, in 1888, author and artist Louisa Anne Meredith donated the bell in honour of her late husband and son.
Not a Catholic herself, in her letter to the congregation, Mrs Meredith said that she was “aware that you did not have a church bell and you need one”.
With the first donor so community-minded, Mrs Izzard is hoping that some more community-mindedness will be the key to getting the bell back into action.
Currently, the fundraising is limited to a donation tin in the porch of the church, but more concerted efforts are planned.
“Some people in the community have promised donations depending on what we need,” Mrs Izzard said.
“There may even be a council grant that we can look at, because of the historic heritage of the bell.”
St Anne’s hoping to ring in milestone with historic bell (Hobart Archdiocese)