Longburn Adventist College’s 110-year-old bell is believed to have been stolen this week.
Longburn principal Brendan van Oostveen said they weren’t sure what day it had been stolen, but a student reported seeing it in place on Monday.
The missing brass bell, which was specially made for Longburn, was cut from its frame and appeared to have fallen and damaged the wood and concrete steps underneath.
“Sadly, we have to report that our historic bell has been stolen. This is an extremely heavy object which would weigh in the hundreds and hundreds of kilos. So obviously, someone was quite intentional, as machinery was needed to free the bell from its support,” the school stated on a Facebook post.
The incident happened a week after the theft of a nearby school’s bell in Palmerston North, New Zealand, which was returned on Monday this week.
“It goes without saying, we would love to see our bell returned. It is a taonga [Maori for treasured possession] to the school and its alumni. Many staff and students feel deeply saddened by the thought that someone was prepared to do this. Any information on its whereabouts will be appreciated,” the school’s statement concluded.