The clock strikes 11 on Thursday morning. Picture by Chinlop Fudong Lepcha
Kalimpong, May 24: At the stroke of 11 this morning, the clock atop the Raja Dorjay tower at Kumudini Homes here began chiming again, breaking a 25-year silence.
A number of people, including former students and teachers of the school, were at hand to witness the formal inauguration of the newly repaired clock. The unveiling also coincided with the annual school day celebrations of Kumudini.
The initiative to repair the clock was taken by the Kumudini Pariwar, the school’s alumni association, following reports in the media in the middle of last year about its deafening silence. The association had launched a fund-raising drive in the Kalimpong subdivision as well as in Sikkim and the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan.
The clock was eventually repaired by two Chennai-based companies — India Clock and Sion, and Tools and Engineering Company — at a cost of about Rs 2 lakh in one-and-a-half months. The clock was originally installed at the tower by another Chennai (then Madras) firm, Ghani and Sons, in the mid 1950s.
“The restoration of the clock, though a long time coming, is a boon for the people of Kalimpong,” said local MLA and an alumnus of the school, Gaulan Lepcha, who played a leading role in the fund-raising drive. T. Lachungpa, an ex-student of Kumudini Homes and former minister of Sikkim, called it “a big achievement for the school” and promised to help in all such future endeavours that the school plans to take up.
With the Kumudini clock now alive and ticking, the focus could now shift to the 100-year-old clock atop Georgina McDermot memorial tower at Dr Graham’s Homes, which has been silent ever since it was damaged in an earthquake in 1968.