'Big icon for Halifax': Town Clock keeping time again after 15-month restoration
HALIFAX -- Since 1803, in the early days of British North America, Halifax's historic old town clock has stood on Citadel Hill.
For the last 15 months, the clock wasn't operational because it was receiving a long-overdue renovation, but now, it's marking time once again.
"It's a big icon for Halifax and very important to Parks Canada," said Jonathan Nash, the manager of the clock restoration project.
The actual clock, the hands, and the wind-up device are more than 200 years old.
"The mechanism and the bells are original to 1803, which was when the clock was reconstructed, but the building itself has gone through a lot of renovations," said Emily Sine, a Parks Canada interpretation co-ordinator.
The building has been torn down and rebuilt several times.
As for the clock and its complicated mechanical features, it's just been through a refurbishment, which began in June 2018.
"We're just doing the final cleanup and touch-ups right now," said Nash.
The clock, which still works and keeps accurate time, was built by a leading clockmaker of the era.
"His name was Benjamin Vellamy," said David Francis, an horologist who runs Dr. Clock in Halifax.
Francis was the overseer of this most recent tune-up.
"By the time we got the dials and we treated them and painted them and got the hands finished, it was about three or four months," Francis said.
The job is done and the clock is fully operational -- and ready to mark time once again for many years to come.
According to local lore, the Duke of Kent was always frustrated that soldiers were always late and never on time for their rounds.
One of the solutions he thought of was to build the Halifax Town Clock in 1803.
Two-hundred-and-sixteen years later it still stands; it's still iconic, and still marking time for the people of Halifax.