Teralba Public School has celebrated its students’ last day of term by re-establishing an old tradition that dates back over a century.
The school’s historic brass bell, believed to be more than 120 years old, was stolen in April 2018, marking an end to the customary ringing of the bell to signal the end of the year.
An outpouring of community spirit was shown soon after the 60-kilogram item was taken, with calls coming from around Australia to enquire about its outcome.
One of the school’s current captains, Jasmine Tupper, stepped up, donating $100 from her win in an annual statewide creative writing competition to kick-start fundraising efforts for a new bell.
Backed by fellow students, staff and families, and the handiwork of her father, a boilermaker by trade, the school was able to officially unveil the bell this week.
Principal Richard Metcalf said the act of vandalism was a sore point with Jasmine.
“She decided she didn’t want to miss out on the ringing of the bell like her older sister had,” he said.
“We’re delighted that other students, staff and families came on board to raise the $1,700 needed and, with the additional help of her father and the right connections, we now have a brand new bell.”
The bell was rung at the school’s traditional end of year clap-out ceremony today (Wednesday 16 December).
Meanwhile, though the school year ends today for many students, all school zones across NSW will remain in operation until 4pm on Friday 18 December.
This means NSW Police will continue to patrol the 40km/h zone even if the school has finished up for 2020.