Setting the time in Lethbridge’s historic clock tower

Click to play video 'Setting the time in Lethbridge’s clock tower' Setting the time in Lethbridge’s clock tower
For a lot of people, rolling the clocks back for daylight saving time meant an extra hour of sleep this past weekend. As Quinn Campbell reports, for one Lethbridge man, it's a chance to step back in time and carry on a family tradition – Nov 4, 2019

The rhythmic “tick-tock” of the old clock tower is Ron Mikhail’s favorite part of maintaining the piece of Lethbridge history.

“The sound — you come up off the street and just listen to the tick of the clock — it’s all you can hear,” Mikhail said.

Mikhail is a watch maker and owner of Precision Watch and Jewellery. He is tasked with servicing the tower clock above the post office which was built in 1913. The building is now privately owned by Sumus Property Group.

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For Mikhail, it’s a family tradition. His father helped rebuild the clock nearly 30 years ago. Now, it’s under his watchful eye.

We tagged along as he and fellow watch maker Roberto Romero rolled the clock back an hour for Daylight Saving Time.

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“We service it twice a year and then we monitor it everyday. We make sure that it’s running on time,” the watch maker said.

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The tower sits seven stories high and is controlled by shafts and gears. Despite the intricate layout, Mikhail said the design is quite simple.

“It’s a weight driven clock,” he said. “A spool of cable goes down to a set of weights — down there in the tower — and then the pendulum is down there.”

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With the simple turn of some weights and a quick check from the sidewalk, the clock was set. Now Mikhail and Romero will patiently wait until it’s time to spring ahead.