Floral clock’s demise sparks talk of saving Vernon landmark – Vernon News

Floral clock’s demise sparks talk of saving Vernon landmark – Vernon News

Photo: Francois Arseneault

If Vernon residents want to revitalize a historic tourist attraction, maybe they should put their money into it.

Responding to the news that the Polson Park flower clock will likely never be repaired, many have taken to social media to lament the loss.

The clock has served as a colorful backdrop for countless photos since it was unveiled by Princess Margaret in 1958.

It has also graced postcards and welcomed visitors to the park for generations until it fell into disrepair in recent years.

The city of Vernon announced this week that it has no current plans to repair the clock, which has stopped telling time since its mechanism was removed.

But local historian Francois Arseneault says if people want it, they should do something about it.

“There is a solution…Maybe we, the residents of Vernon, can fundraise for a new watch,” Arseneault wrote on the Vernon & Area Community Forum on Facebook.

“This is the perfect test to see if we’re up to it. First we need to know what is the estimated cost of replacing the movement. Is it worth it?”

According to Arseneault, the clock is the only floral clock in western Canada.

“There are only three other floral clocks in Canada that I am aware of: Guelph, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Beechwood, NB. They all have beautiful specimens that are popular tourist attractions.

“Tourists spend money. If my story is true, I believe that the flower clock built in 1950 at Niagara Falls was the inspiration for our clock… Every day I read on social media how quickly people are coming up with solutions on how to improve life in this city, here is your chance folks.”

City spokesman Josh Winquist said, “There is no plan at this time to repair the Polson clock due to the correct time and frequent repairs due to vandalism.”

Meanwhile, the master plan for Polson Park is scheduled to be completed next year and will include a review of the clock and the area.

The news of the clock’s sinking sparked a lively debate.

“Like many things in Vernon, neglected…then they say the cost of repairs is too high. Growing up the clock was always beautiful and such a tourist attraction. Today, Vernon’s attractions are disappointing,” wrote Pam Smithson.

“Maybe with a little configuration it could become a compass rose?” suggested Wayne Emde.

“Why not make a sundial out of it?” asked Holly Ramsden.

“The beautiful pictures, the postcards, all were emblematic of Vernon BC. Not replacing the watch is like getting rid of one of the city’s most prized possessions. Vernon is a tourist-oriented city, and we should keep attractions like this going. I know vandalism is a serious problem and there are costs associated with it, but I think the value exceeds the cost of repairs,” said Martin VanEssen.

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