Well-known clock right only twice a day after damage

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For some, lockdown feels like time has stopped — in Alexandra, a glance at the town’s clock on the hill suggests it has.
Vandalism about week ago means time has stood still for the 52-year-old clock, and whether or not the timepiece is deemed ‘‘essential’’, in these times of Covid-19 lockdown, any repairs to restore good timekeeping are on hold.
Lions Club member and Central Otago Electrical co-owner Greg Hamill said ‘‘someone swung on the hands’’.
That happened sometime between 8.30 and 8.35am or pm and had locked the clock in the moment.
This action had triggered a pin, which acts like an electrical fuse and is designed to break if put under unusual stress,.
This protects the overall mechanism of the clock, he said.
While repairs could be carried out‘‘if we can getup there’’, in the current situation he was unsure whether the clock could be called ‘‘essential’’, Mr Hamill said.
His work allowed him to carry out what were deemed ‘‘essential’’ electrical jobs, but that might not extend to the clock, he said.
He has worked on the clock voluntarily for about 30 years.
Alexandra Lions Club has been responsible for the clock’s maintenance since the Alexandra Jaycees folded in 2009.
Alexandra Jaycees constructed the clock in 1968, and looked after its maintenance before responsibility for its up keep was handed over to the Lions Club.
The 11m diameter clock on the Knobbies Range above the town is the largest of its kind in New Zealand, and one of Alexandra’s best-known features.
The clock has stopped before, but never in these circumstances.