As we reflect and remember those who have lost their lives in World War I, you may hear a half-muffled ringing coming from Bowral Uniting Church. This style of ringing is associated with the morning of lost ones.
On November 11 it will be a sound heard across Bowral for Remembrance Day.
Member, Elder and Tower Captain of the Bowral Uniting Church Jim Layton shares the drive behind the process. “At the end of the first World War, bells were rung all over Europe in celebration,” he said.
“We will be ringing our bells at 11 o’clock and everyone around Australia partaking in this celebration will ring them at the same time. Goulburn tower, Camden and Ingleburn will all be ringing their bells along with us.”
Mr Layton said the process for ringing took plenty of practice and planning. “We ring the bells every Sunday and rehearse Fridays,” he said.
“You have to work with the weight of the bell, there are a number of complex ringing formations that go into bell ringing.”
People have come from all around the world to ring the bells at the Bowral Uniting Church. “We’ve had people from England specifically ask to ring ours,” Mr Layton said.
The original idea for the 150 year celebration of the Uniting Church being in the Bowral area was to get one bell. When inquiring for the bell it was suggested that the tower at the church use its full potential and get several bells. There are now six bells in that Bowral tower.
“These bells came from all over, the tenor came all the way from England, two of the bells came from Queanbeyan, and the rest from Canberra,” Mr Layton said.
“Through the Bell Ringers Association of Australia they helped us with the design of the frame work and all the accessories.
“The Bowral Men’s Shed helped build the frame work and assisted with putting it all together.”
If you would like to learn how to ring, you can join the Armistice100 Band or check out the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bell ringers, for more details visit www.anzab.org.au.