Dutch Reformed Church and bell

2015-07-22 06:00

Sir, AS a future visitor to your charming town I did some Googling prior to my visit and came across the following report on a stolen church bell. Can anyone verify, through your newspaper, whether this theft and recovery actually happened.

The bell, bought in 1861, was used to summon the Dutch and English­ community to church. A combination of events, and an altercation with Bishop Macrorie­ and Bishop Colenso, Reverend­ Taylor­ and Reverend Turnbull of the English and Dutch reformed churches respectively, arguing that their services were being interrupted, led to three young bucks in town stealing the bell and burying it. The bell was found in 1935, 74 years later when the foundations were dug for the Concordia cottages­. It was hung in an arch at the Dutch Reformed Church and lo and behold stolen again a few years ago and then returned when a scrap dealer in Pietermaritzburg phoned to say he had it. The bell now hangs in the church.

The first church built in 1856 was destroyed by a cyclone. Sir Henry Bulwer, Lieutenant Governor with a naval Hussars guard of honour, opened the new church on 7 April, 1883.

S. Ryan

Johannesburg

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