Ringing in the new year
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:10 AM
The bells of St. Paul's
The snow is falling, the days are amongst the shortest of the year, and the bells at St. Paul's College are ringing.

During the holiday season, students and staff at the University of Manitoba may have heard St. Paul’s bells sounding Christmas hymns through their Belltower which was first erected in the fall of 1967.

Members of the university community walking about campus between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 to 4:45 p.m. hear the bells ringing out other hymns during the rest of the year. Outside of these special songs, the bells also ring multiple times of the day.
“The bells strike on the quarter hour, with the Angelus at noon and six in the evening,” said Michael Riese, Comptroller for St. Paul’s College.

“The four bells range in weight from 140 to 690 kilos and stand in a tower which rises almost 30 metres above the ground level.”

With the right direction of wind, St. Paul’s bells can be heard ringing from a great distance down Pembina Highway. This is in part to the height of the Belltower, which, at the time of construction, was the highest point on the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus.

“In fact they are so tall that regulations required that two small red lights be installed as aircraft warnings,” said Riese.

Each of the bells are named. In order, from largest to smallest, they are: Christ the King; Our Lady of Wisdom, the patron saint of studies; St. Ignatius, in memory of the founder of the Jesuit Order; and St. Paul.

“We’re happy to hear that the Christmas music was appreciated by the university community,” said Riese. “The Belltower has significant meaning to us here at the college.”
For more information, contact:
Mariianne Mays Wiebe
Editor, The Bulletin
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