By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,529)
“I’ve given out keys to the City of Portland, but I’ve never received a key to the Monument Square Clock,” said Mayor Michael Brennan as Cyrus Hagge, past president of the Rotary Club, handed the Mayor a framed key in a reversal of roles. The ceremony celebrating the return to life of the newly restored historic clock took place this morning on Monument Way.
Hagge who “led the charge” to repair the clock that hasn’t worked in decades said it was installed in 1975 when the plaza surrounding it was reconstructed. It sat on the ground rather than on a base or a pedestal. Eventually a snowplow came along and knocked it over. When the Rotary Club relocated to downtown Portland, it looked for a site to improve and this came into view. When the community learned of the project, the “money fell out of the sky,” Hagge said. The Rotary received $5,000 in unsolicited funds from the area immediately. The restoration project cost $25,000 in its entirety.
The clock has been restored with a state-of-the-art Precision Quartz Time base and auto correct Global Positioning System (GPS). Clock markings and the time keeping hands are designed to matach the original 1975 design with back lighted LED illumination controlled by a photoelectric energy cell. “It will be a long, long time before we need to go to the Portland Downtown District for money to repair this clock,” said Hagge laughing.
The only original part of the clock left is the green metal head of the clock. Everything else is new; the base as well as the face Hagge said.
“The Rotary is always open to suggestions for a project to restore or otherwise commit to,” said Hagge, a Munjoy Hill resident. “This is what Rotary is about.”