Fred E Dukes was born in Dublin in 1912 and learned to ring at St George’s in that city in 1928. During his long ringing career he also rang for several years at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin and St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork where he taught a new band at this previously silent tower. Work took him to Dundalk, where there are no bells, but in 1950 he moved to Drogheda, where he was Ringing Master until his death in 1998.
Fred’s contribution to ringing in Ireland was immense. He was the General Secretary of the Irish Association for 44 years – during this time he visited many Irish towers and helped to train the local bands. He was the Editor of Irish Bell News for 37 years and was the author of Campanology in Ireland published in 1994. He was the first Irishman to ring 100 peals; he rang a total of 166 peals of which 102 were ‘in hand’ and he conducted 84 peals.
Fred represented the Irish Association on the Central Council from 1945 to 1989 and was a Life Member thereafter until his death. He served on the Standing Committee from 1954 to 1972 and the Administrative Committee from 1972 to 1981. He was a member of the Public Relations Committee, in which he worked tirelessly as the Overseas Liaison Officer, keeping in touch with many ringing outposts and informing the Council about what was going on in the various towers abroad. It is probable that this activity prompted him to leave a legacy to create a fund to support bell restoration projects internationally.
This Fund is a capital fund, valued at the end of 2019 at £75,240. Being a capital fund, grants can only be paid from the interest earned, which is currently less than £1,000 a year. Grants are paid only for work carried out by UK bell founders and UK bell-hangers on bell restoration projects in countries outside the UK and Ireland.
To date, 37 grants have been awarded totalling £39,999 (yes, exactly!). Countries awarded are: Africa 8, Australia 24 (of which 18 were for New South Wales, thanks to the hard work of Ron Shepherd), Canada 1, France 1, New Zealand 1, and United States of America 2.
Applications for grants from the Fund are invited each year by a notice in The Ringing World, on the CCCBR website and by notification to ringing organisations outside the British Isles. Details of the allocation criteria and administrative procedures are posted on the CCCBR website.
Applications for the annual allocation of grant awards must be received by the following 31st January. Available money is allocated as set out in the Guidance for Applicants.
Donations for Bell Restoration Projects
The Fred E. Dukes International Bell Fund is not open for further donations. Anyone wishing to contribute to a bell restoration fund may wish to consider making a donation to the Central Council Bell Restoration Fund, which also funds international projects.
You may download any of the two fund documents at the links below: