The bell from HMAS Adelaide 1 and 2 handed to Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood on Wednesday by the Naval Association of Australia as a gift to the City of Adelaide, and will be displayed in the Town Hall.
HMAS Adelaide was named after the city and the Town Hall bells rang out on Wednesday morning to mark this significant event. The antique bell can no longer be struck due to its age and fragility.
“I’m honoured to accept the bell and it’s a privilege to display it at the Town Hall,” Stephen said.
“It’s of high significance to the people of Adelaide given that these two ships carried the city’s name for so many years.”
HMAS Adelaide 1 was laid down in 1915 at Cockatoo dockyard in Sydney but because of material shortages due to the war, was not completed until 1922, earning her the nick name HMAS ‘Long-delayed’.
The ship served with the Royal Navy during 1924 and 1925 and was decommissioned in 1928, before being modernised and returned to service just before World War II. Adelaide was present during the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbour and also intercepted a German blockade runner.
The bell remained on the ship until it was decommissioned in 1946. Sometime after, it was presented to the Naval Association of South Australia and was displayed at Naval Memorial House in Hutt Street.
When HMAS Adelaide 2 first visited Adelaide in March 1982 the bell was presented to the commanding officer for use during the lifetime of the ship.
During her career, Adelaide 2 was part of Australian responses or contributions to the 1987 Fijian coups d'état, the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, the Indonesian riots of May 1998, the War in Afghanistan, and the United States-led invasion of Iraq.
On the ship’s last visit to Adelaide in November 2007, the bell was returned to the Naval Association who have decided to present it to the City Of Adelaide.
Naval Association State President David Kerr said, “It is an honour to present the bell, which has carried this fine city's name to every corner of the world, to the City of Adelaide and to have it displayed in the Town Hall of its namesake city.
“The bell has a significant place in the history of the Royal Australian Navy and it's only fitting that this presentation takes place in the Centenary year.”
In 2015 the navy will commission HMAS Adelaide 3. As the bell is now so old it can no longer be rung, a new one will grace the ship.