Sa­ved by the bell: church clock re­pai­red

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

A­BER­DEEN — The Dutch Re­for­med Church in A­ber­deen, which is clai­med to ha­ve the tal­le­st spi­re in South A­fri­ca, is a stri­king land­mark in the town much lo­ved by lo­cals and vi­si­tors a­li­ke.

Ho­we­ver, for the be­st part of 2016, t­he­re was a part of it that was NOT “stri­king”, as for ma­ny mont­hs the clock in the to­wer was out of or­der.

I­ni­ti­al­ly it very in­ter­mit­tent­ly dis­play­ed the rig­ht ti­me, then for a whi­le sho­wed dif­fe­rent ti­mes on all four fa­ces, and e­ven­tu­al­ly ga­ve up com­ple­te­ly, with the hands stuck at fi­ve mi­nu­tes to one.

Du­ring the in­ter­mit­tent pha­se, it would oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly chi­me cor­rect­ly, but was al­so he­ard to chi­me 13 ti­mes at 16:30! E­ven­tu­al­ly, the chi­ming al­so stop­ped, and re­si­dents mis­sed the re­as­su­ring re­gu­la­ri­ty of the tol­ling bell.

Do­mi­nee Abe Bey­ers ex­plai­ned that they i­ni­ti­al­ly thoug­ht that the pro­blem was due to the wrong lu­bri­ca­ting oil being u­sed. The clock­work was tho­roughly cle­a­ned but to no a­vail. Then a lo­cal han­dy­man di­ag­no­sed that the be­a­rings we­re worn out. T­his cau­sed so­me despair, at the thoug­ht of the e­nor­mous a­mount of work that would be in­vol­ved in dis­mant­ling the clock, brin­ging it do­wn from the to­wer, re­pai­ring it and then ha­ving to as­sem­ble it a­gain up in the to­wer.

“For­tu­na­te­ly a mem­ber of the church, Sieg Nel, re­mem­be­red the na­me of Ni­co van der Mer­we - a for­mer te­a­cher in A­ber­deen ma­ny y­e­ars ago, who now o­wns a clock re­sto­ra­ti­on bu­si­ness in Hei­del­berg in the We­stern Ca­pe,” ex­plai­ned Ds Bey­ers.

Van der Mer­we was con­tacted, and he agreed to co­me and ser­vi­ce the clock, and ma­ke the ne­ces­sa­ry ad­jus­t­ments. “On Mon­day, De­cem­ber 18, 2017, we could he­ar the sound of the clock stri­king out the ti­me o­ver our be­lo­ved litt­le town of A­ber­deen,” con­ti­nu­ed a de­lig­h­ted Ds Bey­ers.

Church mem­ber Eu­ge­ne Ra­de­mey­er now at­tends to the clock re­gu­lar­ly, main­tai­ning it ac­cor­ding to the de­tailed in­structi­ons gi­ven by van der Mer­we.

The church is gra­te­ful to Han­nes Eys­sen for his i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve to rai­se mo­ney for the re­pair, with a col­lecti­on box in a lo­cal café so that mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty could be­co­me in­vol­ved in the pro­ject. Ot­her do­na­ti­ons we­re pro­mi­sed by re­si­dents of the town, as the clock is tru­ly of be­ne­fit to all.

A­brie van der Mer­we o­pe­ned Flash Cash lo­ans in A­ber­deen in Sep­tem­ber last y­e­ar. To re­ward their loy­al clients, a lucky draw was held in De­cem­ber, just in ti­me for Chris­t­mas. Seen in the pho­to­graph is Ve­ro­ni­que Saay­man, who won the first pri­ze of a Chris­t­mas ham­per, with staff mem­ber Ja­ne Ra­de­mey­er. An­ge­lo Ne­ve­ling won the se­cond pri­ze of a hot­pla­te.

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