Pitch made to relocate Killean School Bell onto township land

By Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE – The Killean School Bell will be finding a new public home – although the final destination may need some fine tuning.

On Sept. 4, members of Puslinch council reviewed a request by the Puslinch Historical Society to have the bell located in the township’s Millenial Garden next to the township library in Aberfoyle.

Correspondence to council noted that  after the one-room Killean School was closed in the mid-1960s and students sent to the amalgamated school in Aberfoyle, Glenn Frosch of Killean obtained the school bell. 

Frosch kept the bell, until he relocated away from Puslinch.

It was then purchased by former Puslinch mayor Brad Whitcombe who hoped to have it displayed in a public setting. 

The letter noted “Sadly, Brad Whitcombe died before this could be accomplished.Now, his brother, Kevin Whitcombe, wishes to donate this heritage artefact to Puslinch and the Puslinch Historical Society has decided to take on this project.”

The PHS believed that the Killean School bell ought be placed in a spot, accessible to the public.

It asked if council would consider allowing the bell to be placed on township property.

The letter noted the society plans to have a cairn erected, similar to that which supports the Morriston School bell in the Historic Corner Block in Morriston.

The society also offered to bear all costs involved. 

Upon completion of the project, the Puslinch Historical Society and Puslinch Township Council could hold a dedication ceremony, with an open invitation to all residents of the township.

Councillor Matthew Bulmer expressed his support of the initiative.

“I remember when the bell was purchased by the former mayor and his vision for it. We gets lots of ideas, but it is nice when they come with funding to make it happen.”

He asked for confirmation the land suggested is actually township property. He also suggested the township might consider input from its recreation  committee as to whether this would be the ideal location.

Mayor James Seeley noted the resolution before council was to ensure the bell would be located on township lands. He believed connecting with the recreation committee would be a neccessity.

Councillor Jessica Goyda also supported locating the bell on township land. She noted the township recently undertook a rebranding exercise. Part of that included honouring the past.

“This would be consistent with that vision,” Goyda said.

She also believed it would honour Whitcombe’s wishes. 

Councillor John Sepulis also offered his wholehearted support. He agreed with the idea of getting additional input.

Sepulis suggest a potential location might be next to the sign leading into the community centre.

Seeley supported the opportunity to honour local heritage and place it on display.

He offered accolades to the former mayor Whitcombe for his vision.