The Gift Of Time

More of Our Canada|January 2020

The Gift Of Time
Resurrecting a century-old town clock was no easy feat, but for the sake of local history—challenge accepted!
Garry Garbutt
Along, long time ago—in 1912 to be precise—the local post office building was all but completely built on the corner of 30th Street and 30th Avenue in Vernon, B.C. The granite blocks for the building were quarried at Ellison Park, on Okanagan Lake, barged to Paddlewheel Park, and then to Okanagan Landing, and brought into Vernon on a railcar.

The only part that was missing was the clock that was supposed to sit at the top of the structure. The clock was bought from the clockmaking company, Smith & Sons in Derby, England. Placing an order for a clock in 1912 was quite a long process. You would have to write a letter that would travel across Canada by train and then on a steamship to England in order for it to reach the clockmakers. And, of course, when the clock was shipped, the reverse would have to happen. This was during the time of no cell phones or air freight, which is why it took more than a year for the clock to arrive and be installed in 1913.

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January 2020