At the bottom of Strathallen Avenue, in the shadow of the Suspension Bridge, is Northbridge’s striking sandstone War Memorial Clock.
The clock is located in a small Council reserve, in a prominent, highly visible position. Tens of thousands of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians pass the monument each day.
Before World War II ended, the Northbridge community had decided to build a Memorial to the fallen and, among many alternatives, a clock tower was agreed.
Funded by women
Funds for the Memorial Clock were raised by the Northbridge Women’s Comforts Fund. The Secretary, Mrs J G Lamb, was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald as saying she believed this was the first war memorial to be erected by a women’s organisation in Sydney.
The Memorial was opened in May 1948 by the Governor of New South Wales Lieutenant-Governor Northcott, with local Boy Scouts forming a guard of honour. About 1,000 people attended the ceremony, among them Mr W M Hughes MP and Dame Mary Hughes.
Years of neglect
In 2012, after 65 years of neglect, the Memorial Clock was considered in a poor state of repair and needed urgent attention.
The clock mechanism was no longer reliable, corroded internal fittings need replacement, and the blackened exterior of the sandstone monument needed to be repaired and cleaned. The work was complicated by the discovery of asbestos in the mortar between the sandstone blocks.
The restoration project
Northbridge Progress Association (NPA) suggested the restoration of the Memorial Clock as a 2013 Northbridge Centenary project. The total cost of the memorials restoration, landscaping and floodlighting was estimated to be in the vicinity of $120,000.
In July 2014, Council completed the cleaning and asbestos removal and have ordered the clock mechanism at a combined cost of approx. $74,000, of which $6,000 was contributed by the NPA and a further $4,000 by a Federal DVA grant.
NPA is now seeking contributions from individuals and entities within the Northbridge community to help complete this special project in time for the celebrations of the Gallipoli landings in April 2015.
For more information – please contact Rob Coote @ email@example.com.
- – Rob Coote
- President, NPA