Old Blighty bells blessed in Geraldton

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Peter SweeneyMidwest Times
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Bishop Michael Morrissey takes a rubber mallet to test the bells during the Easter Sunday blessing service at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton.
Camera IconBishop Michael Morrissey takes a rubber mallet to test the bells during the Easter Sunday blessing service at St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton. Credit: Peter Sweeney / Midwest Times

They were the bells that fell off the back of a truck.

Well, at least they were taken from the rear end of a truck and placed out the front of St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral in Geraldton for a blessing and dedication ceremony.

Then they were put back on the truck and taken to the beach for a festival.

It was a busy Easter Sunday for the 27 bells — Geraldton’s latest imports.

Bishop Michael Morrisey sends the smell of incense over the bells he has blessed outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton on Easter Sunday.
Camera IconBishop Michael Morrisey sends the smell of incense over the bells he has blessed outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton on Easter Sunday. Credit: Peter Sweeney / Midwest Times

They were seen on Sunday by many; in the not too distant future, they will be heard by all.

It will take about a month to get the bells installed and operational at the cathedral but such was far from the minds of all last Sunday as many eyes looked over and fell in love with them.

After the main Sunday mass at the cathedral, Bishop Michael Morrissey blessed the bells, which were adorned with flowers.

The bells displayed outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral on Easter Sunday. It will take about a month to get them installed and operational inside the Mid West’s largest cathedral.
Camera IconThe bells displayed outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral on Easter Sunday. It will take about a month to get them installed and operational inside the Mid West’s largest cathedral. Credit: Peter Sweeney / Midwest Times

Business leaders and community-minded people who had “bought” the bells stood in front of them as the Bishop christened each bell with holy water while giving it the name of the saint which the bell-buyer wanted.

Of course, the Bishop gave a little extra attention to the bell which was christened St Michael.

One of the two biggest bells was named after Archbishop John Hawes, the architect of many churches in the Mid West.

The biggest of the 27 bells, named after Monsignor John Hawes, the architect of many churches in the Mid West of Western Australia.
Camera IconThe biggest of the 27 bells, named after Monsignor John Hawes, the architect of many churches in the Mid West of Western Australia. Credit: Peter Sweeney / Midwest Times

After the service, the bells, made in a foundry in England and described as a “unique mix of ancient and modern”, were put back on a truck and taken to the end of Cathedral Avenue — to be a star attraction at the Wind on Water festival.

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