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Bell pull from MV KANIMBLA

Date: c 1961
Overall: 305 × 25 × 25 mm, 71 g
Medium: Rope fibre, leather, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Isabel McBryde
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Bell pull
Object No: 00054730

User Terms

    This fancy-knotted bell pull was used to strike the ship's bell of the Australian passenger vessel MV KANIMBLA. The vessel was built for McIlwraith McEacharn in Belfast by Harland and Wolff and launched late in 1939. It served in the Royal Navy (1939-43) and later Royal Australian Navy (1943-50) before returning to civilian duties as a passenger vessel around the Australian coast and carrying tourists to Asia.
    SignificanceThe bell pull is significant for its association with the bell of the vessel MV KANIMBLA owned by the shipping company McIlwraith McEacharn and Co. and built for Australian coastal service in 1936. At the outbreak of World War II KANIMBLA was first requisitioned into the Royal Navy 1939-43 before being transferred as an armed merchant cruiser to the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS KANIMBLA. After the war the ship brought European migrants to Australia and later carried Australian tourists to Japan and other parts of Asia. The bell and this decorative bell pull are significant as a reflection of the changing uses of a well-known Australian merchant vessel during its long career.
    HistoryThis bell pull relates to the career of John Smyth McBride (1896 - 1987) who, after serving an apprenticeship in sail, served on active service during both the First and Second World Wars, returning to the merchant service after 1945. McBryde served as Fourth Officer on KANIMBLA as a merchant vessel, then later as 1st Lieutenant when the vessel was requisitioned into the Royal Navy (1939- 43). After WW II McBryde was Chief Officer of the KANIMBLA 1950-57 and then Master 1957-61. The ship's bell and three decorative bell pulls was presented to him when he retired in 1963.

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