Who Stole the Bell?

Felicity Newton, Josh McKenzie, Renee McLeod and Adam Sparrow under the school bell. 1995. From the Leader Collection.

In a cookbook that was produced by the Heatherton Primary School to raise funds in the 1980’s there is a story about the "School Bell" that hangs at the front of the school. It has been there since the school first opened in 1870. The "Bell" was purchased from the John Danks company, a firm that still trades in the area today.

This bell has stood the test of time and if it had human characteristics it may well tell some very interesting stories about those who have passed by it. It has seen the history of this school roll by, day by day for over 130 years. It has seen many teachers come and go, as it has seen students come and go, it has even seen those who have at times tried to vandalise the school come and go. It also knows who the two boys where that stole it in 1978 (by the way they where both ex pupils) and then return it the following day leaving a little message which read:

"May this bell keep ringing day by day,
From an old pupil that took it away".

Lisa Bambery, Claire Pollock and Shane Grant at the Heatherton Primary School 125th Anniversery Celebrations 1995. From the Leader Collection.


  • With the closure of the Heatherton Primary School in 1999 the bell was given to the Heatherton and Dingley Uniting Church for safe keeping and to maintain its connection with the district.
Alan Bennett
27 June 2018
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