Centennial Twin Club Project


Construction of Traditional Japanese Bellfry




This project was initiated as a Centennial Twin Club project between the Rotary Club of Shades Valley, Alabama at the Rotary Club of Osaka Central Japan. The project site is the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (BBG). The objective of the project is to promote world peace, friendship and understanding through the exposure to an authentic Japanese bell housed in a traditional style Japanese belfry. The Rotary Club of Osaka Central donated the bell and designed the architectural plans for the belfry. The building of the belfry has taken longer than originally anticipated but the project is now fully underway.

The bell was officially inaugurated during the Rotary Centennial year and was officially introduced to the public on a temporary stand on October 9, 2005. The Birmingham International Festival, The Japan America of Alabama and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted an afternoon of cultural activities and events at the BBG in celebration of Japan. The Japanese bell was brought out as an integral part of the festivities with guests being invited to ring the friendship bell. Guests were informed of the background of the bell and were instructed on the appropriate way to ring the bell. The ringing of the bell could be heard through out the gardens all afternoon.

A reception and bell ringing ceremony will be held once the belfry project is fully completed. We anticipate that our good friends from Osaka will join us for the occasion.