Council raises money for Repatriation Memorial Bel
The Repatriation Memorial Bell appeal has received a funding boost of £2,000, thanks to money donated by staff and councillors at West Oxfordshire District Council and a contribution from the Chairman’s charitable fund.
Fundraising included a staff ‘dress down’ day, as well as collections and donations.
The appeal supports a campaign to locate a Memorial Bell in a permanent tower opposite the Repatriation Memorial Garden in Norton Way. The proposal would see the installation of a large tenor bell, to toll signalling the approaching cortège.
Cllr Derek Cotterill, Chairman at West Oxfordshire District Council said, “Although repatriations are very sad and solemn occasions, a bell tolling the approach of the cortege will add dignity and be greatly appreciated by all those who come to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. I’m honoured to be representing staff and councillors at repatriations and thank them for the contributions they have made to the appeal.”
The appeal, run by Oxfordshire Royal British Legion, is led by members of the local community including Lee Mackie from Bampton, mother of Jason Mackie, the Royal Marine who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. Lee said, “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of local people and thank staff and councillors at the District Council for their support. We know many more people would like to donate and so this week we are also putting out Memorial Appeal collection boxes in shops, pubs and community areas.”
Mike Henderson, Oxfordshire Royal British Legion Chairman said, “The Appeal is a call to action for the community to take ownership and contribute towards the Bell. To have raised so much money already, without publicity, shows the generosity of the public.”
Donations can also be made online on the Memorial Bell Appeal website or cheques, made payable to The Royal British Legion (Memorial Bell), can be sent to: The Memorial Bell Appeal, Royal British Legion County Office, 3 St Andrews Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WT.
Launched in August, £12,000 has been raised so far towards the £18,000 target.
The bell will be made by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry which was founded in 1405. The plan is to produce a replica of the bell that was sent to New York and placed at the site of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001.
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