Ōrewa’s town clock was in a prominent position on Hibiscus Coast Highway, opposite the campground, and a number of locals noticed when it disappeared around eight months ago.
A lot has happened since the clock was vandalised and taken down by Auckland Transport (AT) last September. It has passed through many hands, ending up back with its owner, Gordon Cashmore, aged 96, and the person who has taken care of any repairs over the years, Peter Lewis of Laser Electrical.
As a member of Rotary, Gordon was instrumental in having the clock put up, around 20 years ago. He ensured that a good quality Swiss mechanism was imported, as he wanted a clock that people could count on.
Peter has looked after the clock for around 15 years. He says the mechanism is very reliable, and was updated around eight years ago to the highest standards.
Gordon says when the clock was vandalised, AT got a quote for around $14,000 to repair it.
“That’s when I stepped in,” Gordon says. “I did not want to waste ratepayers’ money like that.”
He took it to Peter, who repaired, cleaned and refurbished it, at Gordon’s cost. This included replacing the glass front, which had been smashed by vandals.
“I’ve been asked if it’s needed any more, as every car has a clock and there are cellphones, but I know of locals who look at it every day,” Gordon says. “Peter has had people ringing up to ask when it’s going back up.”
Gordon says right from the start it was a real community clock – Rotary volunteers put it up themselves.
It is expected to be placed back on its plinth soon, with the assistance of a Neville Bros’ crane, where it will hopefully keep good time for many more years.