These hands of time have towered over Ipswich for more than a century

Ipswich’s iconic clock tower is an important landmark located in Tower Central in Ipswich’s CBD.

The clock has towered over the city keeps watch for more than 120 years with its giant bells ringing out on the hour and half hour.

It has seen fires, floods and even a baby born inside.

The hands of the clock may be over a century old but they remain accurate to the second thanks to Neville Olbitzky.

For the past 10 years, Mr Olbitzky, has the Tower Central building supervisor.

The first thing he does every morning is checks the four faces to make sure the clock is keeping accurate time.

“It’s important to keep the tradition and I think it’s an important landmark in the city,” Mr Olbitzky said.

“Lot of people still look up at it because on the very rare occasion it has been out by a minute, I get calls telling me.”

Image: Picture Ipswich

The clock was installed in the then Post Office building which was built in 1900 at a cost of £9,633.

The relative value in today’s terms would be about $1,332,400.

The original Post Office on this site was demolished in 1899 and this new building commenced business in January 1902.

The telegraph section was located in the new Post Office building, but Morse telegraph ceased in 1945 between Ipswich and Brisbane.

Back then it was someone’s job to keep the clock wound up until 2007 when it was changed over to GPS.

The clock now keeps time via satellite.

The Knowles family lived in the residence below the tower in the early 1900s.

George Hopley Knowles was the postmaster and his wife Mary died of asthma there.

It was in the same room two years later George welcomed a grandchild, Mary Ward (nee Knowles), who was born on June 8, 1917.

George Knowles descendants still live in Ipswich today.

Post Office clock tower taken in the 1940s. Image: Picture Ipswich

While there is no one living in residence these days, like clockwork, Mr Olbitzky climbs the windy internal staircase each day, keeps the clock faces clean and makes sure the lights inside are replaced if they go out.

“It’s Ipswich’s heritage and I like to be a part of it,” Mr Olbitzky said.

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