For whom the bell tolls after all these yearsVIDEO

Heather Farnham rings the old Telarah Public School bell.Heather Farnham made ­history for the second time on Tuesday when she rang a special ship’s bell to celebrate the 125th birthday of Telarah Public School.

The last time Mrs Farnham clanged out a message, it was on the same bell at the same school – to celebrate the end of World War ll.

A Rutherford resident, Mrs Farnham was an 11-year-old pupil then and she notched up another claim to fame: she was the first girl ever to ring the bell at Telarah Public School.

Approaching her 82ndbirthday this Sunday, Mrs Farnham was asked by the school to ring their bell to signal the opening of its 125th birthday celebration yesterday.

“It was such an honour and it brought back so many memories,” the great-grandmother told The Mercury.

“I was only 11 when I was asked to ring the bell at the end of the last war and I still don’t know why I was chosen,” Mrs Farnham said.

“Before this, only the boys had ever rung it – as girls, we were not allowed to touch it.

“I have no doubt some of them were a bit put out that a girl was ringing the bell, but this was one of so many things since then that have changed for women.”

Mrs Farnham said she was aware at her young age that the end of the war was a wonderful thing for so many people and that so many had also suffered.

When the big moment arrived at Telarah Public School yesterday, Mrs Farnham stepped smartly up to the bell and on the command, began whirling the hand wheel which rocked it back and forth.

“It was much easier than the old bell, which had to be rung by pulling hard on a rope,” she said.

“On the day the war ended, I rang that bell as hard as I could, because I knew it was an important occasion.

“And what made it extra special was knowing I had beaten the boys.”

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