Shelby County Indiana
The San Diego Union
Sunday, October 9, 1966
Page H-18 columns 1-4
IPSWICH, Mass. (AP) -- To keep up an old tradition, Mrs. Mariet Moffatt has been appointed the first lady bell ringer in the 332-year history of Ipswich. And she isn't even a native New Englander.
AN OLD TRADITION TO BE KEPT ALIVE
The bell ringing began in Colonial days to announce curfew. Since then, 21 tolls have sounded every night at 9 p.m., 365 days a year as a tradition of Ipswich's heritage.
Mrs. Moffatt, 56, was appointed to the $250 a year post by the selectmen. She was the only applicant for the job. The previous bell ringer had retired.
"I heard the town was planning to use tape recordings of bells," she said. "I wanted to see the bell ringing tradition continued, so I applied."
The necessity of ringing the bell every night of the year doesn't bother Mrs. Moffatt. "I have kind of a definite routine I follow anyway so I won't be going out of my way."
She is a reporter for the Ipswich bureau of the Beverly Times and tapes a program for the Newburyport raio[sic] station.
"If I ever want to take a vacation," she said, "I have several reliable friends who have promised to ring the bell for me." The present bell is located in the Methodist Church.
Mrs. Moffatt came to Ipswich 23 yeras ago. Previously, she had been a reporter in Huntington, W. Va., and had lived in Michigan. She was born in Shelbyville, Ind.
She admitted she may have some problems covering night time meetings of town agencies.
"If the meetings go on after 9 p.m.," she said, "I'll have to run out to ring the bell and then come back.
The selectmen told me they are going to conduct all their important business from five minutes of nine to five after nine."
Note: The paper included a picture of Mrs. Moffatt standing in front in front of the bell tower.
Contributed by John Addison Ballard
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