New tower for old bell | Photos

The congregation of the Eugowra Welsh Memorial Uniting Church was joined by parishioners of many other denominations and visitors of other parishes for the church service and dedication of the Memorial Bell Tower on May 1.

The bell tower is in honour of the late Ernest Howell who was an elder and a life-long serving member of the church. 

He took over as the bell ringer from his father, the late Thomas Howell.

Jason Howell, grandson of Ernest Howell, explained to the congregation the unusual manner in which the original tower was erected. 

Jason works for M & D Steel of Forbes, the company that built and erected the new bell tower made of powder coated steel to replace the original timber bell tower.

There were a couple of bolts in the bell which were completely rusted through and quite a search was made for the correct ones to replace them. 

They were eventually sourced from England, along with the piece of timber to which the bell was attached, which had completely rotted through. 

It was important to have the correct piece of timber as it was essential because of the sound of the bell.

The dedication of the bell tower was performed by the Reverend Canon Jono Williams before members of the family and the congregation were invited to ring the bell.

The original bell tower was erected 76 years ago but no one is sure of the age  of the bell. 

In the days before cranes, raising it was a real exercise and it is believed the job was done by horses - pulling from the other side of the church on ropes threaded through the open windows. 

The church was built in 1912 as the William Welsh Memorial Presbyterian Church, was also used later by the Methodists and later became the Welsh Memorial Uniting Church.

Greg Howell commented  that the family were ecstatic with the day and the support they had received from visitors who had travelled from Forbes, Canowindra, Tamworth, Cranbury, Canberra and Brisbane.