Snapshot in Time: The controversial history of Geraldton’s public post office clock

Lorin CoxGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Post Office, 1897.
Camera IconGeraldton Post Office, 1897. Credit: Photograph by P. Stone. Courtesy of Anthony Horn

A public clock for Geraldton was imported from England by the under secretary for Works in 1896.

From the time of its installation, the clock was the subject of controversy. Given that it had two faces, rather than four as requested, it was not able to be installed as per the architect’s original plans.

Instead, a decorative bracket was created and the clock was installed on the street frontage of the building adjacent to the balcony on the second storey. The clock soon became notorious across the district for its inaccuracy, with poems even written about it.

This photograph features the recently installed post office clock otherwise known as “our own post-office fibber” as per an article in the Geraldton Express on December 23, 1908. Also visible is the unique pointed spire atop the building which ensured that the Post Office was recognisable from around the Geraldton area. The original clock faces from the demolished post office are now a prominent feature on the Marine Terrace ghost office structure.

Snapshots is an initiative of the Geraldton Regional Library. For more information, or to donate a historical photo or slide contact 9956 6659 or library@cgg.wa.gov.au

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