Following extensive restoration, the old Kilmore Town Hall clock was installed in the Mill Street Mall on Monday.
Antiquarian horologist Vivian Kenney has restored the clock as part of a joint project along with the Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell and the Kilmore Historical Society.
Mr Kenney, a Wandong resident, found the clock seven years ago battered, rusted and filled with water for weeks and began the restoration process with the support of the two groups.
The master clockmaker and restoration expert has restored many one-of-a-kind clocks, including clocks at Southern Cross and Flinders Street train stations in Melbourne.
Finding the clock was fortunate as the Rotary Club had prior plans to install a clock in the Mill Street Mall, but the project proved too costly with an imported American clock estimated to cost near $30,000.
Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell treasurer and Kilmore Historical Society committee member Rose King said it was a moment of serendipity.
“When plans fell over because of the cost, we had a clock ready and waiting to be restored and installed so it’s been a joint project between Vivian, Rotary and the historical society,” she said.
“It’s very exciting and a lot of people thought it would never happen, the project has been going on that long.”
Ms King estimated the project cost between $18,000 and $20,000. Bendigo Bank provided a $4000 contribution while the remainder was solely funded by Rotary fundraising.
While Mr Kenney hoped to mount the clock on an antique pole, he said Mitchell Shire Council preferred a pole in keeping with the urban look of the mall.
After Mr Kenney designed the pole and got council approval, it was fabricated by Daniel Keily from One Off Engineering in Kilmore.
“Daniel from One of Engineering of Kilmore was the obvious choice due to the exceptionally high standard of his work and proven reliability,” Mr Kenney said.
“Daniel fabricated the pole and now the historical Kilmore Clock is back up on a high once again, keeping the pulse of Kilmore’s future.
“I would also like to thank council engineer Tim Partridge for helping us go ahead and get it done even during these trying times of lockdown, Rose King for her continual support throughout and to Craig Waters for traffic management during the installation.”
Ms King said it was fantastic timing for the installation given recent events in Kilmore.
“It’s fantastic timing for the town with this COVID-19 stuff and people feeling a bit grumpy, so it’ll be a positive thing to happen in the town at a time when people are doing it pretty tough,” she said.