IN the lead up to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, councillor Monica Morse is hopeful more people in Bathurst will understand the significance of the city’s war memorial carillon.
The structure, which has stood in the centre of Bathurst since 1933, was built to honour the men and women of the district who served and died during the First World War.
It has since become a memorial for locals who lost their lives in subsequent wars and peacekeeping operations across the world.
A civic reception and exhibition were held on the weekend in Bathurst to raise awareness of the carillon’s significance.
Carillon War Memorial Group member, councillor Morse, said the two events highlighted that there was a lack of awareness in the community about the significance of the carillon.
“What came out of it was that people didn’t know a lot about the carillon,” she said.
Among the special guests were Andrew Wilby and Mike Semken from Taylor’s Foundry in England who were responsible for making the carillon’s bells.
Cr Morse said the highlight of Saturday’s exhibition in the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre was a talk by these men.
“Taylor’s Foundry in England made the first bells in the 1930s,” she said.
Their company still has the moulds and the records of the bells with the inscriptions of the names of the villages which raised money for the bells.Carillon War Memorial Group member, councillor Monica Morse
“Their company still has the moulds and the records of the bells with the inscriptions of the names of the villages which raised money for the bells.
“This year, their company will make exact replicas to replace the top octave of bells which have deteriorated over the years.”
Cr Morse said a new octave will also be added, bringing the total number of bells to 47.
Following the end of World War One, the Bathurst community wanted to have a permanent memorial to the fallen, and initial thoughts were for a statue.
However, it was decided that a musical instrument (the carillon) would remind people of the significance while it was playing.
Funds were raised in the local community for its construction.
This year’s Armistice Day (November 11) will mark the centenary of the end of World War One, and a number of events have been planned by Bathurst RSL Sub Branch.
The carillon’s new bells will be made and installed prior to these events.
Cr Morse said the original plan to have a clavier – a large wooden keyboard played with closed fists – in the carillon will finally be brought to reality and this will be installed by mid 2019.