First posted: 12 December 2023

Peal for the 50th Anniversary of the First Ladies Peal on Tower Bells in Australia

See the news item about the first ladies peal on tower bells in Australia here.

A commemorative peal was rung at Burwood, NSW, on Saturday, 2nd December 2023. Here is the peal band, in ringing order, left to right.

Womens Peal Band, 2 December 2023
Katherine Thomson, Pam Brock, Kathi Downs, Mariane Merati, Mary Symes, Deryn Griffiths (c), Clare Dyer, Jacqui Hoole

I know, or knew, most of the ringers of the 1973 peal. It was a special achievement and I wanted to celebrate it, particularly in view of ANZAB and world-wide statistics regarding the dearth of female peal ringers and conductors.

With encouragement from Kathi Downs and others, I organised a band and committed to learning a composition. I rang a practice quarter peal in October, and did a lot of homework learning signposts and checkpoints. All my homework paid off as conducting the peal was a lot easier than the practice quarter!

Jacqui Hoole, from New Zealand, joined the two Victorian and five New South Wales women in the band. We were delighted to have Pam Brock, one of the original peal ringers, ring the second.

This was the first all-woman ANZAB peal for 27 years, and only the 6th such peal. An all-women band was appropriate to the occasion. Without the goal of having a female band I would not have extended myself as conductor. We were highly motivated and experienced ringers, but had less experience as conductors than might be considered usual for a peal band. This encouraged good concentration and individual responsibility. It led to a peal without any shouting. Scoring the peal gave us a thrilling sense of achievement.

See other ringing dedicated to the anniversary:

Deryn Griffiths
12 December 2023

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