Ding, dong: Tower captain Geoff Cawley (left), bell ringer Julia Stewart and secretary Margaret Weatherby at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Lismore preparing to use the bell ropes during a practise session.
Ding, dong: Tower captain Geoff Cawley (left), bell ringer Julia Stewart and secretary Margaret Weatherby at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Lismore preparing to use the bell ropes during a practise session. Jay Cronan

Bellringers' hi-tech chimes

THE bells have been ringing in Lismore for eight years now, but thanks to a computer donated by the Lismore Central Rotary Club they will soon chime in time.

Rick Niland, treasurer of the Rotary Club and owner of Advanced Computer Support in Lismore, happily donated one of his refurbished computers to the bellringers of St Andrew's Anglican Church in Lismore.

The computer will be used as a simulator to help the bellringers practise their art.

“The simulator makes use of sensors on the wheels which can then record the bells when used by experienced ringers,” the Ringing Master of St Andrews, Robert Weatherby, said.

“It enables the ringers to learn methods which otherwise need experienced ringers to learn from and ring with to develop the skill.

“We can have one ringer actually ringing a bell with the simulator set to fill in the rest of the chimes.”

Mr Weatherby has been ringing bells since 2002, the same year the bells were brought to Lismore, after his then 13-year-old son, Robert Weatherby Jnr, encouraged the idea.

“He was keen to learn, so while he was up there he kept saying ‘you have a go, you have a go'. So I did, and the rest is history,” Mr Weatherby said.

Six of the eight bells in the tower at St Andrew's were made in 1831 and shipped to Australia in 2002.

There are eight bellringers at St Andrew's, though they're keen to attract more.

“You don't have to be part of the church to become a bellringer,” said Julia Stewart, of the St Andrew's bellringers.

If you think bellringing is a dying art, you are wrong, says Geoff Cawley, bellringer and Rotary Club member.

“It requires a bit of commitment,” Mr Cawley said.

“You cannot concentrate on anything else, so it's a stress relief.

“They keep building more towers, so in Australia it's a growing art.”

But it's not just the bellringers who are benefiting from donated computers.

The Lismore Rotary Club and Rick Niland's Advanced Computer Support have also donated computers to the SES, the Early Intervention Centre and individual children in need.

They still have more to give, Mr Niland said.

“If anyone needs a computer, and they can't afford to buy one themselves, we are happy to help out,” he said.



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