On Sunday, September 14th, 2008, the Yorkminster Park Memorial Bells were dedicated to the glory of God and in grateful memory of Ralph F. Gerred M.D. F.R.C.P. (C) by Judy MacDonald.

The bells were cast by the Petit and Fritsen Bell Foundry, the Royal Dutch Bell Founder, in Aarle-Rixtel, Holland, and tested by the Verdin Company of Cincinnati Ohio before their installation in our tower in August of 2008. The largest of the four bells weighs 2,000 pounds.


The four cast bronze bells were supplied and installed into the south-east tower of the Church, in August 2008, by the Verdin Company of Cincinnati Ohio. The Verdin Company, a leading supplier of bells since 1842, was founded by French immigrants to the United States whose descendants are still active in its management. The bells were cast by the Petit and Fritsen Bell Foundry, the Royal Dutch Bell Founder, in Aarle-Rixtel, Holland.

The bells are made of bronze, which is an alloy of pure copper and tin, with the tin content varying from 19% for larger bells, to 22% for the smaller. A special filtering process is used during casting to minimize impurities in the cast metal.

The bells are suspended in a frame in a stationary configuration, and are rung by strikers mounted outside each bell. The bells are controlled electronically, and may be programmed to ring at preset times, or may be rung manually, as desired. The Westminster Chime and Hour Strike can be set to ring at desired hours, and with or without chime, at any hour, or range of hours, that is desired. The largest bell in the tower can be tolled, as a funeral toll, at ten second intervals, for a period before a funeral. Three or four-bell “peals” can be rung for other occasions, such as weddings, providing joyous cascades of sound. Other ringing programs can be set up, as desired. The effect of a swinging bell can be simulated by a Doppler device, which provides adjustments for tempo and rhythm of play.

The trust fund established by the donor will provide for the modest annual costs of maintenance, and is intended to be open for future memorial donations, should others wish to support expansion of the installation. The frame provided in the initial four-bell complement is capable of supporting, with minimal adjustment, the addition of a further ten bells. Beyond that number, additional structural members would be required, but could be readily accommodated within the large chamber in the upper level of the tower where the bells are located.

Installing the Memorial Bells