End-to-end track bell to honour son

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser

When Peter and Maryanne Addenbrooke finished the 1000km Bibbulmun Track in Kalamunda, they rang the bell at the Perth end with glee.

The couple have now donated a bell to sit at the southern terminus of the track in Albany, for hikers to ring to celebrate their achievement.

Walking the entire length of the Bibbulmun Track generally takes six to eight weeks.

The couple completed the track in February 2012, travelling north to Kalamunda, in 62 days to ring that bell.

They said it was a highlight for them to donate the bell in honour of their son Dylan, who took his own life last year.

“We were aware of the bell in Kalamunda prior to our hike and at that time it seemed a little quirky but throughout our hike it took on a whole new meaning — a rite of passage,” Mr Addenbrooke said.

“We conquered so many trials throughout the journey, both mentally and physically, so to arrive at the end and ring the bell was truly a highlight.”

Mr Addenbrooke said it was their way of celebrating their son’s life and recognising the mental and physical endeavour of hikers to overcome all obstacles and arrive at a destination of their choosing.

“My son, Dylan and I hiked Pemberton to Northcliffe the week before he took his life,” he said.

“I was aware he wasn’t in a good place mentally and because hiking the track for me is therapeutic, I hoped it would be calming for him allowing us to talk about his issues.

“The bell signifies a challenge undertaken and conquered for hikers and is a way of honouring Dylan’s memory — a life not completed.”

“The bell will make its own history, with so many hikers challenging themselves in all ways, they can ring this bell to symbolise their success in completing this challenge.”

The couple will be donating the bell on Saturday to the visitor centre, where they will meet with the first hikers to ring the bell.

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