Perched above the optometrist on Wallace St, the Macksville town clock beats a steady rhythm to the comings and goings below.
In days gone by, the clock was as much a symbol of town pride as it was a useful tool to measure one’s day.
But in today’s screen-saturated existence where one’s neck seems to be permanently craned downwards at a 45 degree angle, there are likely to be few left who are aware of its elevated existence.
So for many it would not have registered that the clock was locked in its own curious time warp for the past four years.
But for those who knew, it was an embarrassment that could not be borne.
Macksville Chamber of Commerce president Barry Reed was in charge of instigating the installation of the new clock back in 2007.
$10,000 was raised by local businesses and community members, and locals lent a hand to wire and install the modern timepiece as a tribute to the late Joan Beaney of Joan’s Garden Army.
“Macksville is no longer standing still,” the 2007 Guardian News article read.
Fast forward a few years and the clock had again fallen into troubled times.
“The power was turned off when someone else bought the building, and it was off for so long that the backup battery system no longer worked,” Barry said.
Barry clocked the malfunction but had a devil of a time trying to reset the computer-operated German timepiece.
“Then along came Rod [Edwards] with his services and his instruction-reading prowess. And we were lucky that Rob McWilliams had donated his scissor lift for the purposes of the mural on Wallace Lane, so Rod and David Ainsworth got up there early one morning and changed the lightbulb in it – it’s actually quite bright at night now,” he said.
Macksville Rotary president Rod Edwards was happy to rise to the occasion on behalf of his town.
“The thing is, a clock that’s not working properly is worse than not having one at all,” he said.
“It’s true,” Barry chimed in, “when a town has a clock that’s not working you just think to yourself, ‘Gee what’s going on there’.
“I know every time I drive into a country town I look for the building with the clock on it to see if it’s working.”
In fact, Barry is so passionate about the issue that he sees this reset as a metaphor for the town itself:
Just like the town clock being on the move, Macksville is also on the move.