CANLEY Vale High School has restored its historic foundation bell in time for this year's 50th anniversary — only to have it stolen.
The bell was taken on August 31.
Past student and current staff member Kathy Sayers said the 75-kilogram bell was part of her childhood.
"I remember when the bell first rang, it was in the year 1966 and I was nine years old," she said.
"Neighbours came from all over the area and followed the sound of the golden bell.
"A lot of people were migrants and we gathered round the bell tower and listened to the sound ringing through the trees.
"I remember my parents saying how it reminded them of church bells back home in their country."
School principal Peter Rouse said the bell was an important part of the school's history and he would like to see it returned.
After the demolition of the original tower the bell was moved to the foyer of the front office.
To celebrate the school's anniversary it was moved to the school assembly area.
"The return of the bell was significant for our school as it was a way of respecting and celebrating our past and announcing the future," Mr Rouse said.
"The staff and students are saddened by the loss of our bell and are disappointed that someone would demonstrate such a lack of respect for our history and our school."
Anyone with information about the bell can contact Cabramatta police on 9725 8999.