AROUND the world, public clocks have been installed in cities to remind people about the need to keep to time and make meaning to the axiom, “Time is money”.
The clock tower areas also serve as a place for meetings at leisure times by residents in such cities.
Even today, the bell tolls of clock towers in cities create time awareness for many commuters to start their day-to-day activities on schedule.
Some of the famous public clocks around the world are Big Ben in London, Peace Tower in Ottawa, Prague Astronomical Tower, Prague; Worldwide Clock, Berlin and the Rajabai Tower, Mumbai.
Others are the Spasskaya Tower, Moscow; Grand Central Terminal, New York; Cosmos Clock 21, Yokohama; Old Joe, Birmingham and Makkah Royal Clock, Mecca. The old Accra
Post Office Tower Clock also still functions and tolls when it is noon.
However, public clocks are not so common in cities across Ghana where poor time management has become the bane of national development.
The “Ghanaman Time” (GMT) is a phrase that has come to represent how Ghanaians consider when to honour an appointment.
It is a fact that functions will always start one or two hours from the advertised time and therefore it is a surprise when a particular event starts at the exact time advertised.
Duayaw Nkwanta, the capital of the Tano North Municipality, is one of the big and ancient towns in the recently created Ahafo Region.
In this town, there is a giant clock mounted on about 16 feet concrete pillar in the central business area.
Even though some residents in the town who were interviewed said they did not know the purpose of the clock, further investigations revealed that it was installed to remind residents about the importance of time.
The Daily Graphic’s checks revealed that citizens of Duayaw Nkwanta in Europe, including the late former Regional Minister of the erstwhile Brong-Ahafo Region, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, donated the clock to the community in the 1990s to inject time consciousness in residents.
Residents explained that there used to be an alarm from the clock in the late afternoons to alert, particularly farmers, to return home to avoid returning very late.
An opinion Leader, Nana Kwadjan Osei Akyereko, told the Daily Graphic that in time past, wrist watches and clocks were not common in the community, thus making it very difficult for residents to tell the time.
He explained that the public clock was installed to make residents become abreast of time for their daily activities.
Nana Akyereko said citizens of Duayaw Nkwanta in Europe, who came back to the community to celebrate a homecoming festival, decided to put up the clock in the middle of the community to provide time.
He explained that during the durbar, the chiefs and people of Duayaw Nkwanta cut the sod for the construction of the concrete pillar to mount the clock.
Nana Akyereko said the concrete mast was well constructed because since its construction in the 1990s, the pillar had never seen any renovation, but it was still strong.
He explained that community members started abandoning the use of the clock to monitor time when wrist watches and mobile phones started emerging.
Nana Akyereko said currently, the historic clock was not functioning due to lack of maintenance, but residents were excited about its existence in the community.
He said strangers and passersby continued to gaze at the clock when commuting on the road.
A resident, Christiana Korankye, told the Daily Graphic that some people, particularly strangers, visited the clock site to take pictures.
She explained that the clock site was gradually becoming a tourist centre because it kept attracting strangers.
“We the community members don’t regard this tower clock as an important monument in the community but some strangers do come to take pictures of it.
“When we were growing up, we used to play around the clock, but we didn’t know its purpose, until I asked my grandmother why the community had spent money just to erect a concrete pillar to mount a clock,” Mrs Korankye said.
Her grandmother told her that in the olden days, it was not common to see watches and that had contributed to the mounting of the community tower clock to tell time.