Should you be in Nundah on any Sunday morning, you will hear the ringing of the bell from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. The sound of this bell has been heard for over 150 years throughout the district, and has been housed in no less than three different church buildings.
When shiploads of German families immigrated to Queensland in the mid-19th century, many found the Eagle Farm area ideal to settle and established their small farms close to the former Zion’s Hill mission station.
A weatherboard church was erected on the banks of Kedron Brook, beside a dusty track that made its way through the bush to Nudgee. On completion in 1863 it was agreed to send to the Fatherland for a German church bell.
The bell was cast in a foundry in Wurttemberg and freighted aboard a sailing ship, sometime early in the 1870s, landing on the wharf in the Brisbane River. A large turnout of farmers and their sons raised the bell on a long rope into position above the church, where it was to send its message echoing over the waterways and fields for some twenty years.
With an increase in congregation in the 1880s the old church was demolished and a new one erected. The old church bell was raised into a steeple in the new church which was mounted by the metal figure of a weather-vane type rooster. It was there the bell tolled across muddy waters in 1893 when flood waters surrounded the timber church and the adjoining pastor’s cottage. Two world wars came and went, with the old bell ringing in celebration at the termination of each.
Land was purchased in Buckland Road, Nundah and the previous church was demolished, its timbers being preserved to be used in the new church, with the entire roof structure erected as it was originally. The foundation stone for the new church in Buckland Road was laid in 1948, just 110 years after the Gossner missionaries first settled on Zion Hill in 1838. The old bell was raised a third time in its long existence into a new bell tower, where today it calls yet another generation to prayer.
Nundah & Districts Historical Society Inc. | Ph: 0472 733 630
[email protected] | facebook.com/nundahanddistrictshistoricalsocietyinc