The Little Bell

In 1922 the Jan Juc community decided to change the name of their township. Wynd (1992) notes it is unclear on why there was a need but there are suggestions that “drunken brawls at local wine cellars had given the area a bad name and lowered land values. Harry Rose, who was trying to sell property, is said to be the instigator of the petition to change the name.” A competition for a new name was held, a final six were chosen. Joseph Gundry chaired a meeting of residents in March 1922 where a ballot was held and the name “Bellbrae” was declared the winner by a large majority. The ratepayer’s petition went to Barrabool Shire Council and the new town Gazetted in September that same year.
The name Bellbrae was chosen in honour of John Calvert Bell, of “Addiscot” where he had lived for many years and ‘brae’ meaning “hill or hillside; slope”. The new name was the suggestion of Mrs Emma Bone (nee Rau).

In appreciation for the new name, John Calvert Bell who died in 1937, had a brooch custom made for Emma and her two sisters. This brooch has been handed down from Sophia Hunt (nee Rau), sister of Emma to Lorraine Jeffery.
The little bell has the word “Brae” engraved on it.

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