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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Clock is a symbol

Town Clock Committee co-chair John Runfolo poses next to the refurbished town clock. (THG/Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

At a time when the town needed it most, after a year of dealing with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the deaths, illness, restrictions, economic woes and sacrifices that have come in its wake, the Hammonton Town Clock returned to its triangular plaza on the Hammonton Town Common in downtown Hammonton, across from town hall.

It has been written and said many times that the Hammonton Town Clock is to Hammonton what the Statue of Liberty is to New York City: a symbol of our community.

Given the return of the clock at this moment in local history, it is also a symbol of our town’s unity, a symbol of hope and renewal, fittingly coming just weeks before spring.

Huge praise should be given to the Hammonton Town Clock committee, comprised of many of the same people who spearheaded the successful Hammonton Sesquicentennial in 2016. These individuals took time and raised more than $100,000 in funds during one of the most difficult eras in history, taking a dilapidated Seth Thomas clock from 1929, sending it to The Verdin Company in Cincinnati, Ohio for restoration and returning it to much universal acclaim—and that is not easy to come by in Hammonton.

So, we salute the Hammonton Town Clock committee: Co-Chairs Robert Schenk and John Runfolo; Dan Bachalis, Susan Coan, Dorothy Orlandini, Harry Stafford and Monica Wuillermin.

We also salute all the donors to the clock project, who made the nearly impossible, possible. After all, there are only a handful of working Seth Thomas post clocks remaining in the United States, and even fewer that have been complete revitalized like Hammonton’s. This project wasn’t easy. It took many years to come to fruition.

The Gazette considers the new town clock to be a sight to behold, a source of pride for all Hammontonians. Keeping excellent time, lit up like a beacon at night, covered with new gleaming gold leaf and the word “Hammonton” on the placard atop each clock face, it is back and better than ever.

It may have cost $100,000 to restore the Hammonton Town Clock, but it was worth it. Because it looks like a million bucks.


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